Defiant SRC digs in on Zifa audit

Gerald Mlotshwa

THE Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) has remained defiant in its quest to ‘clean up’ local football as they push for the completion of the forensic audit which they are confident will further vindicate its decision to suspend the Zifa board last year.

The Gerald Mlotshwa-led SRC board scored a major victory in its case against Zifa a fortnight ago after the Fifa Independent ethics committee slapped a five year ban in addition to a US$20 000 fine on former Zifa referees committee secretary general Obert Zhoya for sexually harassing female referees.

Failure to decisively deal with allegations of sexual harassment of female match officials was one of the issues that led the SRC to suspend the Felton-Kamambo-led Zifa executive in November last year.

The SRC has been under fire from players and other stakeholders for its decision to suspend the Kamambo-led Zifa board, which consequently led to the country being suspended from international football by Fifa due to third party interference in the running of the game in the country.

Despite the severe consequences the SRC has however maintained its hard-line stance.

Yesterday the country’s sports regulator revealed that it held a tripartite meeting with the Gift Banda-led Zifa board and the Zifa Restructuring Committee in Harare on Wednesday last week, where the issue of the forensic audit hogged the limelight.

The SRC called for the meeting to receive an update from Zifa regarding the implementation of certain conditions, which were subject to lifting on the suspension of the football body in June.

More importantly, it provided an opportunity for BDO Chartered Accountants to provide a progress report on the forensic audit of the local football mother body’s finances.

In a statement released yesterday SRC said the forensic audit is almost complete, save for the lack of cooperation from some former and current members of the football body.

“The BDO forensic audit report will be availed at the end of September, 2022. Presently, certain of the current and former members of the Zifa executive committee, as well as the general secretary, have been asked by BDO to provide clarity and insight into certain transactions relating to the finances of Zifa. These responses are the main outstanding issues before the report is finalised,” the SRC said.

“Likewise, the Restructuring Committee expects to complete its findings and final recommendations to the SRC within a period that will allow Zifa members in a general meeting to consider the same for adoption. The recommendations will form the basis of the implementation matrix; it being noted that the Restructuring Committee submitted its preliminary findings to the SRC in August, 2022.

“Upon the submission of the final BDO forensic audit report as well as that of the Restructuring Committee, Zifa shall convene an extraordinary general meeting (‘EGM’) of its members to consider the same. It is the expectation of the SRC that this EGM takes place in the month of October, 2022.

“Thereafter, the issues adopted during the EGM will form the basis of the implementation matrix (with times and deadlines for the discharge of agreed reform goals). This matrix will be made available to Fifa and Caf.

“The same implementation matrix as well as the full details of the BDO forensic report and the findings and recommendations of the restructuring committee will be made available to the public in line with the SRC’s previous undertaking in this respect.

“A key component to the implementation matrix is the adoption of a new constitution by the members of Zifa in December, 2022, after which and subject to the provisions of the new constitution, the holding of new elections from grassroots structures to executive committee level in early 2023,” said the statement.

The SRC also reiterated that it is not a priority to lobby for the lifting of Zifa’s suspension as a member of Fifa arguing that the focus was on the implementation of far reaching fundamental reforms in the administration of football in Zimbabwe.

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