Ricky Zililo, Senior Sports Reporter
FED UP councillors are turning up the heat on suspended Zifa president Felton Kamambo and board members Philemon Machana, Bryton Malandule and Stanley Chapeta, accusing them of being disrespectful to the congress.
The four are so desperate to hold on to their Zifa positions and are trying to “purge” councillors behind calls for an extraordinary general meeting where the suspended board members will answer charges of usurping congress powers, abuse of funds and sexual harassment, among others.
A number of councillors who signed a petition calling for an EGM have been “suspended” by the suspended Zifa board.
Premier Soccer League chairman Farai Jere and Zimbabwe Women’s Soccer League boss Barbra Chikosi and Sugar Chagonda have distanced themselves from the latest purported suspensions.
However, despite the supposed suspensions, councillors are adamant that they will not be silenced.
“My own observation is that the Zifa executive committee is failing to appreciate that the Zifa councillors are the Zifa congress and constitute the highest football decision-making body in the land. The ultimate boss in football is not the Zifa executive committee, but the Zifa Assembly.
The Zifa councillors can make or unmake the members of the Zifa executive committee. It is important for those elected to treat the electors with due respect as a way to avoid the emergence of petty dictatorships and the tyranny of the executive power,”
Zifa councillor Alois Masepe wrote to Kamambo in leaked WhatsApp group chats.
He reminded Kamambo that it is not in every case that an appeal automatically nullifies an earlier decision, stating that in some cases one needs to get a specific court interdict suspending the considered action.
This was in relation to the Zifa board saying it had appealed the Sports and Recreation Commission’s suspension at the Administrative Court.
“It is ironic and revealing that while the Zifa executive committee is aggrieved about the manner SRC suspended it, it then does the same to Zifa councillors. Under the circumstances, we were under obligation to show maturity, professionalism and wisdom by doing better than the SRC. We were supposed to build bridges and not burn them,” wrote Masepe.
He said he wanted sanity to prevail and it wasn’t his intention to turn the request for an extraordinary congress into a contest of interpreting the Zifa constitution because the required number of councillors had requested the convening of an extraordinary congress.
“One third of the Zifa councillors (the real owners of organised football in the country) has petitioned for the convening of an extraordinary congress to address the crisis in football which culminated in the suspension of the Zifa executive committee by the SRC. The Zifa executive committee is under constitutional obligation to facilitate that without throwing the kitchen sink at the petitioners.
“If there are some mistakes that were made in terms of adherence to the constitution in pursuance of the request, the Zifa secretariat is under obligation to ensure that the petitioners are correctly guided to ensure due process is followed.
The crux of the matter is that a significant number of the football stakeholders that elect the Zifa executive committee want an Indaba. The Zifa executive committee’s reaction to this request will define its orientation to the dictates of democratic representative leadership.”
Masepe told Kamambo that if they are innocent and prove their case at the EGM, the majority of councillors, who are “upright, wise and fair”, will absolve them.
Caps United vice-president Nhamo Tutisani, who has also been served with a suspension letter, has instructed his legal team to look into the allegations that have been laid against him.
Tutisani said domestic football needed all the stakeholders to put their heads together to weather the current storm.
“As councillors, we need to sober up, collective effort is needed to revamp our football. We have to stop politicising the matter and put football ahead of our personal interests. In the end football, and football alone, should be the winner. I also think this is the time we should all be supporting the initiative by the Sports snd Recreation Commission.
I am sure they meant well when they announced that they would want to give our football a reboot,” Tutisani told our Harare Bureau.
Outspoken Masvingo-based councillor Nobioth Magwizi said: “Interestingly, these guys admitted that they could not hold the AGM last year because they were incapacitated by the SRC suspensions.
For that reason we felt the whole football system should not suffer because of a few individuals that are suspended and we called for the EGM, in accordance with the Zifa statutes.
“Surprisingly, on one hand, they claim they are suspended, but then the next day they wake up having the capacity to suspend members. So it appears they do what they want, as and when they want, and on their own terms.
But we are the ones who are taking the stick from the people we represent out there. We represent the interests of the football people in our constituencies. These people want to know what is going on with our football and they have to get answers.”
He said it’s sad that the executive committee wants to take Zifa as its personal property.
One of the targeted councillors, Derrick Matapure, of Mashonaland West Province said: “At the last AGM the president (Kamambo) used his executive powers to close debate.
So, if the president (Kamambo) shuts out echoes that he thinks are not favourable to him, what do you do as an assembly member when you really know that continuing to raise issues that are sort of taboo will get you suspended?” – @ZililoR
Article Source: The Chronicle