Eddie Chikamhi Senior Sports Reporter
THE ZIFA secretariat have set January 29 as the date for the “special” Extraordinary General Meeting called by members of the Congress despite the dogged resistance from the suspended board.
The meeting was confirmed by the association’s acting head of secretariat, Xolisani Gwesela, in a notice sent out to the association’s members.
The correspondence was also copied to the FIFA Secretary General Fatma Samoura, FIFA Chief Member Association Officer Kenny Jean-Marie and Sports Commission chairman Gerald Mlotshwa.
“Reference is made to the above subject matter. The ZIFA Secretariat acknowledges receipt of correspondence from some ZIFA Members dated 3 January 2022 and their call for an extraordinary congress in line with Article 28 of ZIFA constitution.
“The Secretariat has verified the credentials and authenticity of members who called for the meeting. The Members who appended their signatures in a letter to the ZIFA Secretariat are bona fide ZIFA Members,” wrote Gwesela.
The crucial indaba was called by the association’s members, who are increasingly getting worried by the state of the domestic game and the continued standoff between the association’s leadership and the Sports and Recreation Commission.
The ZIFA board was suspended on November 16 last year over a raft of allegations bordering on mismanagement and lack of accountability.
The Sports Commission this time have been reduced to spectators as the ZIFA members press ahead with the constitutionally provided for internal processes.
The highlight of the “special” EGM agenda is the intended revocation of the mandate of the suspended ZIFA board. All the members of the suspended board have been issued with copies of the charges preferred against them. Twenty-seven of the disgruntled members signed the meeting petition, as cracks within ZIFA deepen.
“It is noted that the ZIFA Executive Committee as well as the General Secretary are suspended by the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC), and are therefore not able to meet as a board to convene an extraordinary general congress, please note the provisions contained in Article 28(2) of the registered ZIFA Constitution of 2013 which now applies and we quote: ‘If an Extraordinary Congress is not convened, the Members who requested it may convene the Congress themselves’.
“Therefore on behalf of the 27 members who make up more than one-third of the members of ZIFA, the following notice and agenda is issued on their behalf.
“All of the ZIFA Executive Committee members have been notified of the charges and have been requested to attend the extraordinary Congress.
“Copies of the letter to ZIFA secretariat as well as the charges against the Executive Committee will be made available to those members who do not already have them.
“ZIFA Secretariat will deal with the usual logistics of transport, food and accommodation for members travelling from outside of Harare province,” wrote Gwesela.
According to the ZIFA statutes, the ZIFA members are still capable of going ahead with the meeting even without the validation of the suspended leadership.
Also to be discussed at the meeting is the suspension of the ZIFA Executive Board Members by Sports Commission, the lingering fears of a FIFA ban and its worldwide implications to Zimbabwean football, the ZIFA Annual General Meeting, the review of ZIFA Constitution, appointment of Electoral Committee and affording the Executive Committee members an opportunity to be heard as they respond to the allegations levelled against each individual before Congress reach an appropriate decision.
The suspended board members, who face a raft of charges from their constituency, face a vote of no confidence in terms of ZIFA Statutes Article 22(m).
Sports Commission have indicated they will not interfere in the internal processes at ZIFA and will only resume their own procedures once the EGM had made its resolutions.
The ZIFA members are exercising their right since their constitution does not stop functioning with the suspension of the board.
The meeting, however, has faced resistance from the Felton Kamambo-led board members who are fighting tooth and nail to invalidate the indaba.
The members of the suspended board yesterday sent out a scathing statement from a ghost account with ZIFA letterhead, which they have been using in the last few weeks to spew out their anger on decisions made against them.
The members of the suspended board alleged that the Sports Commission could be behind the decision by the members to call for the “special” EGM, whose main agenda is revocation of their mandate.
“While the ZIFA Executive Committee has no qualms with any constitutionally provided for process and will easily dispense with the so called charge sheets, it is the nature of the alleged charges most which are identical to the SRC allegations and which have to date not been substantiated and led to FIFA dismissing the SRC inspired suspension, that raises suspicion.
“Equally worrying is the timing of the so called request for an EGM, prior to threats by the SRC to suspend some ZIFA Congress Delegates through their “show cause order the previous week and some clandestine meetings that have been taking place between the SRC and some of the ZIFA Congress Delegates.
“The ZIFA Executive Committee would like to assure the Nation that due process as is provided for in our statutes shall holistically be followed in following the EGM request once this has been verified as legitimate.
“The board is therefore not at all worried on the request and would rather focus much on the elephant in the room which are illegal interferences from the SRC,” said the statement from the suspended board.