BY TAWANDA TAFIRENYIKA THE sexual harassment charges case against suspended Zifa board member and chairperson of the Referees Committee, Bryton Malandule is dragging with the alleged victim allegedly reluctant to report to the police for an interview.
Malandule’s case was first reported to the police in Harare early February, but was transferred to Bulawayo where Malandule is based.
While, Malandule has been interviewed by the police, the victim is yet to come forward. She is reportedly citing varying reasons for her failure to turn up.
She, however, authored an affidavit incriminating Malandule which NewsDay Sport obtained from police sources.
In the affidavit, the basis of her case is a WhatsApp message in which she said she was invited for a drink by the Zifa boss.
She said she interpreted the offer for drinks as an attempt by Malandule to see her “under the cover of darkness.”
She asserts that she “was taken aback” as the message was “loaded with innuendoes”, but she chose to keep the issue to herself since Malandule was such a powerful figure.
“(Given) how much power Malandule wields with the referees committee, I chose to be mute for fear of reprisal and backlash. If I had spoken at the time, my career would have been dead and buried.”
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Malandule’s case is one of the reasons why the Felton Kamambo-led Zifa board was suspended by the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC).
The SRC claimed recently that there are many more female referees who have come out alleging sexual harassment by the Zifa board, but as yet there is only one police report.
The entire Zifa board was suspended late last year and consequently, world football governing body Fifa banned Zimbabwe over government interference.
Fifa have said they will only lift the Zifa ban once Kamambo and crew have been reinstated.
But the SRC is not backing off, continuing with a “restructuring” exercise that should culminate in the holding of fresh elections before the end of the year.
Meanwhile, Zimbabwe could miss out on the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers if the SRC fails to lift the Zifa suspension by next month.
The draw for the tournament will be held on Tuesday and Zimbabwe will be part of the cast as Caf has afforded the Warriors a window to get sorted.
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