By Ellina Mhlanga
The Mighty Warriors continued with their sit-in yesterday at the ZIFA Village demanding their winning bonuses and allowances following the Africa Women Cup of Nations qualifiers first round victory over Namibia.
The senior women national team beat Namibia 4-0 on aggregate and booked their place in the final qualifying round where they will play Zambia in June.
The players only got transport allowances after the Namibia game on Sunday, with promises their winning bonuses would be paid in due course, which led to the stand-off as the team refused to leave the ZIFA Village where they were still holed up yesterday.
ZIFA communications and competitions manager, Xolisani Gwesela, yesterday said they were working to address the matter.
“I would like to clarify on the issue of $5, it was not their allowances for playing. It’s transport reimbursements. Across ZIFA we have rates which we use, which even councillors, employees and players are paid, so $5 is local allowance for Harare-based players.
“And, it depends, if you are staying outside Harare (it’s) $15 or more. So $5 is not allowances for their participation in the first round of the Africa Women Cup of Nations qualifiers.
“Yes, we owe them outstanding allowances. Our accounts department is seized with this matter and these amounts will be paid, not in cash, because we all know what is obtaining in our economy, we don’t have cash.
“It is going to be directly channelled into their accounts,” said Gwesela.
Gwesela could not reveal the actual amount owed to each player but said part of it was from the COSAFA Championships held in Bulawayo last September.
“It’s a contractual issue and labour contracts are very confidential,’’ said Gwesela. “As ZIFA we are very aware of our obligations and we shall never abdicate from our obligations.
“The figures I cannot say them in public because I would have breached in terms of their contracts.
“But what I can confirm is that we are working on the figures, we are working on the money and all amounts owed to them, including a small fraction from the COSAFA tournament.
“We are going to pay it together with their allowance for participating in the first round of the Africa Women Cup of Nations.
“We might have this unfortunate scenario here but, as I have already indicated, we are working flat out and very soon all outstanding amounts will channelled to their bank accounts . . . (the) delay is very unfortunate but I can assure you everything will be paid in full.’’
Interestingly, those who have been claiming that there is a leadership vacuum at ZIFA have gone into hiding and have contributed nothing towards the Mighty Warriors cause.
Instead, some of them have sought sponsorship from people who want to take over the running of the association to hold what they are dubbing an all-stakeholders indaba in the capital this week.The Herald