SRC goes after Zifa

BY Kevin Mapasure

The Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) has gone after Zifa, demanding explanations over a number of issues, including how the association used its funds before and during the Warriors’ participation at the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) finals in Egypt.

The SRC is currently embroiled in a fight to remove the Zimbabwe Cricket board and its managing director, but is facing resistance.

ZC faces suspension from the International Cricket Council following the SRC move. With the cricket issue still a hot topic as it now plays on the international stage, the SRC has moved
to football, particularly focusing on the 2019 Afcon finals where Zimbabwe were booted out at group stage following their defeat to Egypt, a draw against Uganda and an unexpected 4-0
thrashing by the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The Warriors and Zifa had several clashes in Cairo over financial issues and some have suggested those episodes might have contributed to the team’s dismal performance.

There were also allegations that Zifa councillors travelled to the tournament with their girlfriends, using Zifa funds.

Now, after the team returned home, the government body is demanding answers.

The SRC yesterday wrote to Zifa demanding that they be told how much Zifa had received from both Fifa and Caf.
“The Sports and Recreation Commission is acutely aware of the controversies surrounding the Warriors Afcon campaign which, sadly, came to an inglorious and abrupt end on Sunday, June
30, 2019,” the letter SRC director general, Prince Mupazviroho, wrote to Zifa general-secretary Joseph Mamutse, read in part.

“These controversies give rise to a prima facie case of gross incompetence on the part of Zifa, such conduct and/or omissions appearing consistent with Section 30 (i) of the SRC ACT
regarding conduct by Zifa in a manner which is contrary to the national interest. In terms of the same said Section 30, the SRC board has directed that Zifa avail it of the following
detailed information on or before close of business on Friday, July 12, 2019: Zifa to detail all funds received by it from Fifa and Caf and/or any other football body recognised by Fifa during the period December 16, 2018 to June 30, 2019.”

The SRC also wants to know how much money the board members have been paid by Zifa during the same period.

The move by Zifa to charter a plane for board members, supporters and journalists has also aroused the interest of the governing body.

The SRC wants Zifa to: “… explain the source of funding for the chartered aeroplane to Cairo for its members and supporters of the Warriors. Zifa to provide the rationale for its
decision in light of allegations that all or some of the Warriors had outstanding emoluments to them. “

Zifa has to provide the total costs of the chartered plane as well as accommodation for the passengers.
The Felton Kamambo-led organisation also has to : “…provide an affidavit from the Warriors captain regarding his views and opinions in respect of the reported discord within the
Warriors camp over outstanding allowances and agreement on Afcon fees.”

The issue of Conduit Holdings (Pvt) Ltd has also returned to haunt Zifa, with the SRC, whose board is led by Gerald Mlotshwa, demanding an explanation on the relationship between the
football body and the company.

Zifa board member Philemon Machana is one of the directors and Zifa are alleged to have transferred some of their money from an association bank account to an account owned by
Conduit as they allegedly sought to evade losing the money to debtors.
One of the demands by the SRC is for Zifa to get: “The head of the Warriors technical committee to provide an affidavit form, the collective views of his committee regarding the
reasons for any discord within the Warriors camp that may have contributed to the team’s disappointing performance at the Afcon.”

According to the letter, Zifa had already requested a meeting with the SRC, but the government body suggested that the meeting only takes place after the football body had provided the
explanations.

Zifa have been given until Friday next week to respond.

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