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Zifa ordered to pay back US$1,2 million debt

By Fungai Lupande

The High Court has granted an order compelling the Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) to pay back US$1,2 million to Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz) borrowed to send the Warriors to Africa Cup of Nations in Gabon in 2017.

ZIFA president Philip Chiyangwa
Former ZIFA president Philip Chiyangwa

High Court Judge Justice Owen Tagu granted the consent order.

Zifa was given US$225 000 when the Warriors travelled to Guinea for an Afcon qualifying match and US$1 million for the tournament.

However, Zifa have failed to settle the debt for the past three years despite demand by Potraz.

Former Zifa’s president, Phillip Chiyangwa, in his capacity as the then Zifa board chairperson, executed an acknowledgement of debt in January 2017.

“The plaintiff’s (Potraz) claim is based on an acknowledgement of debt executed by Phillip Chiyangwa in his capacity as the defendant’s board chairman, and dated January 6, 2017. In terms of the document an amount of $1 225 000 together with interest at the rate of 5 percent per annum is payable to the plaintiff,” read the court papers.

According to the acknowledgement of debt Zifa requested the loan to facilitate travel, accommodation and participation costs of the national soccer team at the Africa Cup of Nations tournament in Gabon.

“The debtor shall pay the capital sum in 24 instalments of not less than US$46 666 the first of which is payable on or before February 28, 2017 with each subsequent instalment paid before the last day of every succeeding month,” reads the document.

“All payments made by the debtor will be appropriated firstly towards payment of interest and lastly in reduction of the capital sum…if any single instalment is not paid strictly on due date thereof, then the creditor will have the right to claim payment of the full balance of the capital sum and interest on the outstanding amount.”

Zifa was supposed to clear the debt by January 1 this year. Potraz approached the High Court seeking an order compelling Zifa to pay the debt with interest at the rate of five percent per annum from February, 2017 to date of full payment. The Chronicle