Zifa blocks bank account freeze

BY CHARLES LAITON

THE Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) has successfully thwarted the bid by a local hospitality firm, Daisy Guest Lodge (Pvt) Ltd, to freeze its bank account over a payment dispute.

According to the court papers, Daisy Guest House approached the High Court seeking an order to compel Zifa to pay US$161 762 for accommodation, food and beverages provided to the senior men’s soccer team between January 2014 and June 2016.

However, in February this year, Zifa is said to have attempted to extinguish the debt by paying the amount in local RTGS dollars, a move that was challenged by
the guest house as it proceeded to obtain a court order to freeze Zifa’s bank account with Ecobank.

“The execution of the writ of attachment is unlawful in that the judgment debt was satisfied in full by the applicant (Zifa). Zifa will suffer irreparable
damage in that its money will be used to satisfy a judgment debt that was paid in full on February 11, 2019,” Zifa’s lawyers Ngarava Moyo and Chikono Legal
Practitioners said in their papers.

In a bid to save its bank account, Zifa, however, engaged Daisy Guest House and early this week, the parties agreed to an order by consent which was issued by
High Court judge Justice Helena Charehwa.
The money was supposed to be removed from Zifa’s account on June 14, 2019.

“The attachment of the applicants’ (Zifa) bank account held by the second respondent (Ecobank), which was done at the instance of the first respondent (Daisy
Guest House) and effected by the third respondent (Sheriff) on June 11, 2019 be stayed pending determination of the matter in case number HC725/19,” Justice
Charehwa said in her chambers.

“Pending the court’s determination in case number 725/19, the second respondent be and is hereby ordered to ensure that a minimum total amount of US$100 000 is
held in the applicant’s attached accounts, which are held with the second respondent.”
In the consent order, Ecobank, High Court sheriff and former Zifa president Philip Chiyangwa were also cited as second, third and fourth respondents,
respectively.

The impasse between Zifa and the guest house comes at a time the Warriors are in the final phase of preparations for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations and are
already in Egypt for the tournament kicking off on Friday.

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