Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

Hope Chizuzu: SRC life saving bomb explodes in ZIFA’s face

By Hope Chizuzu | Masvingo Mirror |

The setting was a proverbial beauty parcel, packed nicely in front of soldiers of combat, not in combat fatigues but in faces of both wonder and certified confusion.

The National Sports Stadium has been since 1987, when Hualong, a Chinese company put the finishing touches and handed over the footballing edifice to the government of Zimbabwe, a scene of many memories.

Like when Egypt were beaten 2-1 in the 1994 World Cup qualifier (ask Agent Sawu for more details), the SRC chairman, a brave man of men announced the long overdue suspension of the ZIFA executive committee (not board, the 2013 constitution provides).

What was brilliant about it is that it is the RIGHT decision, steeped in the SRC Act provision of Sec 30. The Act which for some strange reason has been rotting without use, as ZIFA among other errand associations behaved as if the sun rose from their bottoms, was finally invoked.

The suspension is with immediate effect. The SRC took the decision, after the ZIFA, again, failed to furnish them with requests, information and details. That left them with the easiest of tasks to suspend them.

The net effect of that is the SRC must immediately dispatch a letter to ZIFA advising them to stop immediately transacting and copy the letter to Ecobank and other three banks where ZIFA banks. The affected members of the Executive Committee are the signatories, together with the already suspended CEO, Joseph Mamutse.

More importantly, the first effects of the suspension is that all football activities can not go ahead including matches run by the PSL, who despite being semi autonomous, rely on ZIFA for match officials. A ZIFA appointed referees committee appoints the match officials, but now they have lost the authority to appoint because of the suspension.

So football operations have been immobilized until the SRC through the ministry of Sports, appoint a board to run the affairs of football. This must be done immediately because the net effect of the suspension is fatal in its operations. Everything has stopped and had to stop before it could start.

In every crisis leadership must rise to the top like cream. The suspension of the executive committee also means technically the ZIFA assembly stands suspended because the power of the assembly is in the constitution administered by the executive committee.

Crucially, the executive committee are not members of ZIFA and they are only voted for by the assembly and it is the Exco which then appoints the CEO, meaning now all that authority is lost and our football is now being run by the Act of parliament until such a time, ZIFA assembly is restored by way of elections, which elections will be supervised by a committee that will be put in place by Hon minister Kirsty Coventry.

The usual misinformation of government interference and it’s attended noise will or may ensue but it will not stop the SRC from sorting out the mess. This is not about USD740K (the appropriately named magistrate Stan Mambanje knows a thing or two about that).

The matter is not even about the disappearance of COVID-19 FIFA money or the Afcon 2019 report which is still outstanding. No, it is not even about breaching the constitution endlessly, they have done before without any cry from SRC. It is about good governance and adherence to the Act, which allows ZIFA to be registered and become a member of Cosafa, CAF and FIFA.

What the SRC must do is simply communicate effectively what they have done and ensure operationalization has been restore quicker as to not affect a lot of things. At the moment no one has appointing powers, so even the confused Xolisani Gwesela can not continue to act as CEO as he has been doing even though Mamutse was coming to office daily, something ZIFA thought SRC didn’t know about.

In the worst case scenario, which is not bad, is FIFA will react in their usual manner and perhaps call for a provisional ban on Zimbabwe. That is still fine. People must not play the wrong tune to think Zimbabwe will be banned from Afcon 2021 in January.

They will not. All SRC will do is watch the space as FIFA can not do anything without their ear from this minute on. Effectively ZIFA is under administration, as is done to failing companies and banks to protect depositors funds

The SRC must be ready with their charge sheet on ZIFA and FIFA, who are currently suffering from such crises, doesn’t want to be embarrassed further by supporting a clearly failing member association and will engage SRC.

The supreme sport governing board have everything in file. They know the ZIFA assembly 2018 to 2022 ends mid night on March 30 and they can have the same renewal of the assembly by the set deadline by putting in a place a team to begin work immediately.

FIFA knows, elections are due by March 2022, they had the same discussion in 2018, advising Phil Chiyangwa that his term had ended despite his shenanigans, something from which he suffered relations later. The interim committee to be put by minister Coventry will be charged with having a road map for elections to be concluded by March 30 2022.

Effectively, this is the best opportunity to restore order to our football. It is like winning a war without firing a single bullet and the Machanas of this world can wallow in the misery that they created. They have nobody to blame, maybe he may blame the journalists he paid for the lousy PR, on ZIFA money. But this ship has sailed and they are now history.

The media and social media space has been hysterical and I have stopped taking calls as people are bombarding me with calls, including on WhatsApp. Some are even calling my son at the University of Zimbabwe, just to share their joy over what Mlotshwa and board have done.
Well, it is all good and get this clear that FIFA has no legs for this race. It is ours to pander and ours to measure. Worse, CAF can not even cough, at least Patrice Motsepe has been clear that ZIFA is “dead and disappointing and do not know how sane people can elect such a leadership”.

Forget about FIFA….and our Afcon qualification is safe and can not be traded for any samoosas. My only worry is the SRC should quickly restore order to enable our Under 17 and U20 to take in their competitions unhindered……

Can you imagine how this ZIFA had managed to pay Loga a qualification bonus from the USD550k CAF that is yet to be paid by the broke international organization. Imagine that….paying a bonus before it is due….and in the process paying just Loga, and not other coaches involved in the relay and someone wants to see such financial debauchery continued like paid robbery.

Thank you SRC for the move…..but crown the moment and complete the circle.
“Those whose palm kernels have been cracked for them by the benevolent spirits need to be humble…”