Zifa has begun preparing for its much-awaited elections which will be held in the next few months following Fifa’s instruction that the process be concluded as soon as possible since the executive committee’s term of office had expired.
BY DANIEL NHAKANISO / KEVIN MAPASURE
The Zifa electoral committee will meet on Friday after which they will announce the road map and time lines for the elections.
Fifa communicated to Zifa and the Sports and Recreation Committee (SRC) advising that the current leadership headed by Philip Chiyangwa will remain in place until the elections have been held.
There was an argument that Chiyangwa should not be in office by the time elections are conducted since “his term has expired”, but Fifa has put that to bed by ruling in his favour.
Yesterday, a Fifa spokesman also confirmed to NewsDay Sport that the world governing body had ordered the holding of elections, while Chiyangwa remains in office.
“We can confirm that Fifa has sent a letter to Zifa on 24 April informing them that given that the current Zifa executive committee inherited the four-year mandate of the previous executive committee under Mr Cuthbert Dube that began in March 2014, elections of a new Zifa executive committee should take place as soon as possible in accordance with the Zifa statutes and regulations,” a Fifa spokesperson said.
“Consequently and in accordance with article 2 letter c of the Zifa Electoral Code, the incumbent Zifa executive committee remains until the next election. We have no further comment.”
Fifa’s order comes after mounting pressure from different football stakeholders, including former Zifa presidents, who argued that the term of office of the
current leadership headed by Chiyangwa had expired on March 29. Chiyangwa in a statement yesterday confirmed that the elections will be held soon and the electoral committee put together in February had been mandated to carry out its task.
“Zifa wishes to advise all football stakeholders that Fifa has duly confirmed to both Zifa and the mainstream media in Zimbabwe and South Africa that Zifa elections shall soon be held in accordance with the Zifa statutes which give full responsibility and authority to the electoral committee duly installed by congress on the 17th of February 2018. Accordingly, the Zifa electoral committee is presently seized with Zifa electoral processes and shall soon make public, the timelines for the holding of elections,” he said.
Chiyangwa added: “Zifa has in the past months communicated the position as confirmed by Fifa which is clearly as provided in the Zifa constitution and the electoral code. It is noteworthy that notwithstanding the clear provisions of the Zifa statutes, there has been relentless attempts by failed and banned former football administrators and other well-known imposters to author chaos and confusion by making baseless allegations against the Zifa executive committee and by seriously misrepresenting provisions of the Zifa constitution.”
Zifa lawyer Itai Ndudzo said that the association was ready for the elections.
“On the Zifa side it’s all systems go, we are ready for the elections. The electoral committee will start doing its task and they will guide everyone on the steps we take from here till the last set of elections. It’s a long process but it will be done in the shortest possible time,” he said.
A group of former Zifa presidents which includes Trevor Carelse Juul, Vincent Pamire, Leo Mugabe, Cuthbert Dube and Rafik Khan had set itself to challenge the legality of Chiyangwa’s stay in office.
They are set to field one candidate to challenge for the Zifa presidency post.
Chiyangwa, said that he was ready to face any challenge in the election even though he has also been arguing that, he is entitled to a full four-year term from the date he assumed office in December 2015 following the departure of Dube midway through his term.
The Zifa boss beat Carelse-Juul, Leslie Gwindi and James Takavada on December 5, 2015 for the leadership of domestic football.
The Cosafa president has been running the association together with his deputy Omega Sibanda and board member finance Philemon Machana following the resignation of two executive committee members Felton Kamambo and Piraishe Mabhena on March 29.
The Zifa executive committee operated with five members, following the death of Edzai Kasinauyo last year, while the Premier Soccer League (PSL) and women football seats in the board, were vacant.
Chiyangwa’s opponents have argued that the three remaining figures do not form a quorum to run the association, but the latest Fifa communique has given the Zifa boss another life line.