BY MUNYARADZI MADZOKERE
SUSPENDED Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) president Felton Kamambo and some members of his board have approached the acting prosecutor-general Nelson Mutsonziwa in a bid to have their bail conditions relaxed so that they can travel to the 72nd Fifa congress scheduled for Doha, Qatar this Thursday.
The suspended Zifa officials wrote to Mutsonziwa on Friday, days after reports that Fifa is set to ratify the suspension of Zimbabwe and Kenya at the March 31 congress unless the two countries meet all the requirements given by the global body to enable them to lift the sanctions.
The letter, seen by StandardSport, comes after Kamambo and four executive members – Phillemon Machana, Stanley Chapeta, Joseph Mamutse and Bryton Malandule were arraigned before a Harare Magistrate Court accused of abusing the football body’s letterheads when they wrote letters of suspension to Zifa congress members.
The move was in defiance of their suspension by the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) over a cocktail of allegations.
Kamambo, Machana and Chapeta, were placed on remand and granted bail on February 14, 2022, with the exception of Mamutse and Bryton Malandule, who are not subject to any bail conditions.
As one of the conditions for the referenced bail, the accused persons were prohibited from communicating with Fifa.
However through their lawyer Admire Rubaya, the Zifa board members have requested that their bail conditions be relaxed and they be allowed to travel to Qatar to help negotiate for the lifting of the suspension.
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“The accused persons are more than ready to engage with the state and all relevant stakeholders for purposes of resolving the issues bedevilling football in time for the Fifa congress which is slated for the 28th to 31st of March in Doha,” read part of the letter dated March 25 2022.
“Our client’s intention is to attend the Fifa congress, together with other relevant stakeholders in a bid to prevent the full-fledged ban
“In the circumstances we advise that prior to the next remand date, the accused persons will approach the court for variation of their bail conditions to allow them to travel to Fifa and engage with Fifa during the congress. Our clients have already been invited, as more fully appears from the unsolicited invitations which were sent to Mr. Joseph Mamutse which we have attached hereto as Annexure FK4 for the avoidance of doubt
“Our clients are aware of the lack of trust that has resulted from the allegations against them. As such to curtail same, the accused persons are prepared to be part of any government-appointed delegation appointed to engage Fifa,” Rubaya said.
Kenya and Zimbabwe have both been suspended by the world’s football governing body, Fifa, owing to government interference in the operations of the national football federations.
The SRC suspended the Zifa board late last year and appointed the Zifa Restructuring Committee, an independent body that is expected to come up with comprehensive investigations on some of the issues that led to the board’s suspension.
The Zifa congress members have been working round the clock to ensure football comes out of the current doldrums which have only been made worse by the recent Fifa suspension.
The association’s councillors held a consultative meeting where they resolved to hold an EGM on April 24 to revoke the mandate of the Kamambo led board.