ZIFA president Philip Chiyangwa’s sidekick and Beach Soccer Zimbabwe vice-president, Marshal Jonga, has been suspended, and could be ineligible to contest the organisation’s elections set for tomorrow, where he is eyeing the chairmanship.
BY HENRY MHARA
Jonga, who holds a top position at Pinnacle Holdings, a company owned by the Zifa president, is up against incumbent chairman Joseph Musariri for the top post.
However, his ambitions could be derailed after the Beach Soccer board slapped him with a suspension for a litany of accusations, including trying to rig the election by recruiting his friends and colleagues to make up the electoral college.
This development could be a huge blow to Chiyangwa, who would have hoped for his close associate Jonga to get the chairman’s position, which would guarantee him a vote in the Zifa presidential election coming up this December.
In a letter dated August 4, and signed by Musariri, Beach Soccer Zimbabwe said the decision to suspend Jonga was reached at a board meeting on July 27.
“Your suspension, which is in terms of the Beach Soccer Zimbabwe constitution article 40 (5) and is with immediate effect, is on account of the following; communicating with Zifa without authority, providing malicious information to the print media about beach soccer leadership, misappropriation of beach soccer funds by beach soccer chairman and misrepresentation of the length of your football background.”
Jonga is also accused of authorising the use of the beach soccer pitch at the Zifa Village without board approval, trying to stop the normal functioning of the beach soccer board, and thereby bringing the sport of beach soccer into disrepute.
The board also claims that they discovered serious irregularities in the setting up of the electoral college — the people who will vote in the election, accusing Jonga of handpicking his close associates, colleagues, friends and workmates in setting up the committee.
“A detailed charge sheet will follow soon and you will be expected to respond to the allegations contained in the charge sheet. Meanwhile, you are requested not to visit any beach soccer offices or to conduct any activities associated with the sport of beach soccer, including transacting any business on behalf of Beach Soccer Zimbabwe during your period of suspension,” part of the suspension letter read.
The elections were initially pencilled for July 14, but the Zifa Electoral Committee deferred the polls as they sought to clarify issues related to the electoral college of the affiliate.