… as audit report exposes Zifa boss
ZIFA president Philip Chiyangwa’s bid to retain his post in elections scheduled for Sunday suffered a major blow yesterday after it emerged the association “fraudulently” circulated a 2017 audited accounts with missing pages to councillors, raising fears of underhand dealings and abuse of resources.
BY TAWANDA TAFIRENYIKA
The report was circulated to councillors, the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) and the world soccer governing body, Fifa on December 1.
However, a report done by the association’s auditors Baker Tilly Gwatidzo Chartered Accountants had missing pages which contained crucial information, a development which could raise corporate governance issues at Zifa and further alienate the local football body from the corporate world.
According to information obtained by Newsday Sport yesterday, in what appears to be a well-calculated case of collusion between the association’s auditors and Zifa board member finance Philemon Machana, the audited accounts circulated had page 4 containing critical information on the Basis for Qualified Opinion missing.
Pages 6 and 26 were also missing. Although the audit report is signed, it has no date on it.
The Zifa leadership has been accused of circulating a fraudulent audit report in the hope that councillors would not be able to note the anomaly, thus “grossly underestimating their cognitive capacity”.
But after a thorough look into the audit, the councillors picked the anomaly and now want an answer on how and why the Chiyangwa-led administration was contemptuous of them.
According to a councillor who requested anonymity, the audit report had been invalidated by the missing pages and could jeopardise Zimbabwe’s chances of receiving more grants from Fifa.
“Zifa was and is aware of the three missing pages as could be read from the attached cover letter to members on the 1st of December 2018, where I quote:
“Members are advised that prior notice of at least three days need to be given for any clarification that may arise from documents submitted in order to allow for a proper response as is required by our statutes as well as Fifa and Caf procedures’. What this means is that the Chiyangwa executive treats members of the Zifa congress as dull and ignorant, and never expected them to pick the anomaly,” a councillor said.
The councillor said the report was misleading and fraudulent.
Based on the format of previous reports, page 4 contains critical information that contains qualified or non-qualified opinion by auditors.
Also raised by councillors was that in two consecutive years, the Zifa accounts do not show separate financials for its investment wing, Zifa (Pvt) Ltd and the association’s business.
Repeated efforts to contact Machana were unsuccessful yesterday, but Zifa spokesperson Xolisani Gwesela promised to look into the issue and respond today.
“Let me look into the issue and will come back to you tomorrow (today),” Gwesela said.
Chiyangwa is scheduled to fight it out with Felton Kamambo in the presidential election, while incumbent vice-president Omega Sibanda will square off against Gift Banda.
For the four slots available for the ordinary executive committee posts, Machana, Chamu Chiwanza, Sugar Chagonda, Mlungisi Moyo, Brighton Malandule and Stanley Chapeta will battle it out.