The Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) extraordinary general meeting (EGM) will take place in Harare today where a number of items will be discussed including the forensic audit report which was presented to the soccer mother body this week.

Zifa’s executive committee report will also be tabled at the indaba.

The current Zifa board was established at another EGM held in April this year where president Felton Kamambo, board members Philemon Machana and Bryton Malandule were all ejected over a plethora of alleged misdemeanors.

However, following the dismissal of the board members as well as the suspension of chief executive officer Joseph Mamutse, Zimbabwe was banned from international football by Fifa over government interference and all financial taps were closed.

A Zifa Restructuring Committee is in place to remodel the game in the country as the Sports and Recreation Commission refuses to reinstate the Kamambo-led board, which Fifa has demanded. Instead, the SRC is pressing on with a process that will culminate in new elections.

The forensic audit exposes a number of financial irregularities under the Kamambo administration and among some of the questionable transactions were cash withdrawals whose purposes were not explained.

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According to the report compiled by BDO Chatered Accountants,  Zifa received grants totaling US$6 569 146,20 for the period under audit — which is 2018 to 2022.

US$182 700 received on December 20, 2018 is recorded as the first batch of the amount received in December 2018 but was omitted from the association’s books of accounts for 2018.

“The grant was deposited into a Fifa designated Ecobank account number 0181197610292101 which had been recently opened on 20 December 2018,” the report notes. And three $10 000 cash withdrawals were made by Mamutse on December 21, 24 and 28 of the same year.

Yet the auditors; “could not trace the cash withdrawals to the accounting records of Zifa and no supporting documents were availed to show how the funds were utilised.”

“According to the accountant, the new bank account had not been disclosed to the finance department by the end of the 2018 financial year, hence the omission of the grant from the financial statements.

On December 24, 2018, US$50 000 was transferred from the new bank account into the Zifa general account number 00110976102921026 and accounted for as sponsorship income on posting to the ledger.”

The remaining bank balance of US$102 319,97 was reported as grant income in the 2019 financial statements.

According to the report, most of the Fifa funds were not used for intended purposes.

There were queries on procurement especially of equipment donated for grassroots development.

The awarding of a tender to Rollertag Investments for the supply of equipment also raised stink with Marshall Jonga, a Zifa councillor, admitting that he was a beneficial shareholder in the company.

The company received US$240 000 in 2019 for the supply of among others things, footballs, kits, bibs, and boots among others

“We met Marshall Jonga who is the head of beach soccer and a Zifa councillor at our offices located at 3 Baines Avenue Harare and he confirmed that he is the beneficial shareholder of Rollertag Investments, a situation which created a conflict of interest.”

Goods worth about $800 000 purchased from the company had not been delivered to the association, it has emerged.

 “According to the technical director, Wilson Mutekede and Zifa board member Barbara Chikosi the equipment purchased was of poor quality such that some of the beneficiaries of the distributed equipment complained about how easily the equipment could be torn.”

The distribution of COVID-19 relief funds from Fifa and Caf was also questioned with the board having come up with a budget in US dollars but disbursing the money in local currency at interbank rate.

 “According to some representatives of affiliates that received ZWL, Zifa said it was illegal to pay in US$, hence the ZWL payments. However, according to section of 6 of Statutory Instrument (SI)85 of 2020, which was ruling at the time, entities were permitted to make payments in US$ using free funds. According to exchange rates which were obtaining in the market on August 19, 2020, the affiliates lost about ZWL9 248 560 or US$112 022 because of Zifa’s conversions to ZWL.”

The fired Zifa board members have since dismissed the findings arguing that they were not accorded an opportunity to respond to some of the queries since their bail conditions bar them from speaking about the association.

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