Inside Sport: The US$2 million Zifa mystery

Sports minister Kirsty Coventry

THE Zimbabwean football story continues to have very interesting unfolding chapters, the latest being the US$2 million Zifa mystery.

Sports minister Kirsty Coventry insists and seems pretty sure that her ministry received US$2 million from treasury for Zifa to use for their 2019 Afcon adventure.

Surely, Coventry is not foolish to stand in front of parliament and tell the whole country that they indeed received US$2 million, but the minister could well be mistaken as to where it went to.

The man who was then in charge of Zifa finances, Philemon Machana, also insists that they never received the said money and has challenged the ministry to prove it.

Machana was at pains trying to explain to the nation that they were coming out public not to win sympathy, but to clear their names which have been tarnished not only in parliament, but also in the eyes of all.

This ‘missing’ US$2 million is one of the reasons why the Zifa board of Felton Kamambo which also includes Machana was suspended by the Sports and Recreation Commission.

So, was Kamambo tried on the US$2 million based on hearsay rather than on proved financial misdemeanor or that we are missing something here?

What will happen should it be proved that the Kamambo-led Zifa board truly never received the said money, having already been convicted on that basis and among other accusations ?

Surely, from what I have seen and heard, I am forced to agree with the Kamambo crew that the only money they received from government in three years was only US$53 000.

The question is: How did Coventry and the SRC come to the conclusion that the US$2 million was indeed released to Zifa? Are there any documents to prove that and who exactly signed the papers?

If Coventry is really sure that her ministry received the money from treasury, why is she failing to trace it ? Or if it is still there - four years later - where exactly is it?

Has Coventry also tried to find out from Home Affairs minister Raymond Kazembe Kazembe, who was then acting sports minister on how they handled this 2019 Afcon financial issue during her absence?

Those in the know-how might recall that there was a time at Afcon 2019, that the ministry directly paid the Warriors after they threatened to boycott their opening match against hosts Egypt.

What is clearly evident is that there is a political game of chess that is being played but the question is : Who is fooling who ? — Kamambo and Friends or the sports ministry?

The fact, it appears, is that the money was truly there around Afcon 2019, but if Kamambo did not receive it and the sports ministry released it, to where?

Surely, finances cannot just be removed from the ministry’s bank without somebody authorising the transaction and without requisitions. So, who signed for the money to be released and to where?

Surely, there are lots of twists and turns happening in this Zifa soap opera and one is waiting for what is coming next but first should be how the US$2 million debacle will be settled.

Two million dollars is not just a small figure to disappear into thin air and if it left the treasury coffers, the nation has a right to know how it was spent — and if it is still there, where is it?

After all, it is tax-payers money, and Zimbabweans deserve to know its whereabouts, and the truth of the ongoing game of chess.

  •  For your comments, views, and suggestions [email protected] or WhatsApp on 0773 266 779.

Related Topics