By Sikhumbuzo Moyo
ZIFA had by end of business yesterday not availed its bank statement to vice-president Gift Banda’s legal team ahead of today’s condonation application to the association’s Appeals Committee.
The Zifa Appeals Committee headed by lawyer Stead Kachere threw out the initial appeal after the association failed to attach proof of payment of the appeal fee as stipulated under Article 7.1 of the Zifa Rules and Regulations.
The Appeals Committee ruled that in the absence of proof of payment as required by the rules, the appeal before it was a legal nullity and Banda must be reinstated as Zifa vice-president.
Zifa argued that it paid the appeal fee, with communications and competitions manager Xolisani Gwesela telling Chronicle Sport that payment was done on March 9, a day before the appeal papers were filed with the Appeals Committee.
Zifa said proof of payment was with its accountant who failed to submit it to the Appeals Committee due to the national lockdown restrictions despite the fact that the lockdown started on March 30, which was 21 days after the day the association says it paid the appeal fees.
The association also had more than two months to provide proof of payment after the Appeals Committee informed both parties on March 10 that the matter would be heard on June 2.
Last week, a receipt bearing payment of $120 000 was shown to Chronicle Sport as ‘proof’ of payment of the appeal fee.
The appeal fee last ratified by the Zifa Congress is $3 000 and no review was done at the May 25, 2019, congress held in Harare.
This year’s congress was pushed back to September due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Zifa also has to explain how it electronically transferred money from its account to the same account as purported by the association.
Kachere also said it was difficult for them to prove that money was actually paid.
“If the Appeals Committee had its own account to run, this money should have been deposited into that particular account, but unfortunately we don’t have one and it makes it difficult for us to verify,” said Kachere.
Banda’s lawyer Munyaradzi Nzarayapenga of Dube-Banda, Nzarayapenga and Partners has demanded the bank statement that shows actual movement of money.
“I haven’t been briefed to the contrary by my legal team, we still don’t have the bank statement we asked for,” said Banda yesterday. The Chronicle