An attempt by former ZIFA presidents to seek FIFA help in seizing control of the association has been rendered a nullity amid revelations that a clause in the soccer body’s constitution does not give them any voting powers in congress.
A coalition of former ZIFA leaders led by South Africa-based businessman Trevor Carelse-Juul, which included Vincent Pamire, Rafik Khan, Cuthbert Dube and Leo Mugabe, wrote to FIFA secretary-general Fatma Samoura seeking to be installed as a “stabilising committee.”
Carelse-Juul — who was suspended by the Sports Commission on April 21, 1993 — has twice suffered heavy defeats in his comeback bids for the ZIFA presidency with the businessman first losing heavily to Dube in 2014 before being thumped by Chiyangwa in December 2015.
In suspending Carelse-Juul, the Sports Commission then led by the late Alwyn Pichanick cited “lack of competency in management of soccer, failure to pay Commission levies, failure to pay taxes and financial mismanagement.”
FIFA, after studying the report submitted by Pichanick’s Commission following a probe by a three-member committee of Peter Chingoka, Jane Makawa and James Devittee, endorsed the decision to boot out Carelse-Juul.
In their letter to FIFA, the former presidents claimed that they were acting in line with the ZIFA constitution which gave them powers to intervene and “normalise the situation when a crisis had arisen”.
“We, the elders of Zimbabwean football, have consulted and come to an agreement that there is no other option than to step forward and regularise football in Zimbabwe without government interference as per FIFA statutes,” wrote the former presidents.
They then claimed that they were constitutionally mandated to act as they did and seek to take over the administration of ZIFA.
“We believe we have the authority to call on the constitution and act constitutionally deriving our locus standi from the ZIFA constitution Article 18 Honorary president and honorary member.
“We have agreed that a committee be set up with immediate effect to run and regularise ZIFA until elections can take place and be concluded.
“That the electoral process be conducted across all facets of the game in Zimbabwe until free and fair elections can take place countrywide.
“That the whole process should be presented to FIFA for support and endorsement for the good standing of Zimbabwean football.
“The committee shall initially be constituted by five former ZIFA presidents with the option to co-opt senior administrators to lead the process of stabilising Zimbabwean football until elections are held within the constitutional framework and timeframe,” read part of the letter.
However, Article 18 of the ZIFA constitution from which Carelse-Juul and company claimed they derived their mandate clearly states the parameters within which an honorary president or member may operate.
The Article in question states that:
The Congress may bestow the title of honorary president or honorary member upon any persons for meritorious service to football
The executive committee shall make these nominations
The honorary president or honorary member may take part in the congress. They my join the debates, but are not entitled to vote.
In their correspondence to FIFA the former presidents also claimed that there was no regularly-constituted leadership on the basis that two of the executive members Piraishe Mabhena and Felton Kamambo had resigned.