By Petros Kausiyo
FIFA and ZIFA have struck an understanding on the roadmap for the association’s elections with the world soccer governing body giving the greenlight for the poll dates to be deferred by 15 days following the re-admission of Felton Kamambo and Gift Banda into the race.
Kamambo and Banda, initially disqualified on technicalities, were reinstated into the contests for the president and vice-president’s posts respectively.
The former ZIFA board member who quit his post in March along with Piraishe Mabhena has, however, since his reinstatement been issuing contradictory signals on his participation in the contest against incumbent Philip Chiyangwa.
Kamambo had earlier claimed that he had been armed with a FIFA directive issued to ZIFA on the staging of the elections, before eventually turning around and revealing he was actually waiting for a cue from the international body on the steps to take.
He then reportedly wrote to FIFA again seeking a further deferment of the poll dates from December 16 to January next year.
But it has emerged that ZIFA Electoral Committee chairman Vusilizwe Vuma has been briefing FIFA on developments on the poll and in particular the move to reinstate Kamambo and Banda.
That correspondence between Vuma and FIFA secretary-general Fatma Samoura, copies of which have been seen by The Herald, show the Zurich-based body’s official position on the elections which is in stark contrast to speculative claims that had been doing the rounds in the domestic game and on social media.
It has also emerged that the decision by the ZIFA Electoral Committee to settle for a fresh date of December 16 for the board elections was arrived at on the recommendations of FIFA.
Vuma, who just like FIFA director for development for Africa and the Caribbean Veron Mosengo-Omba, has been at the receiving end of some smear campaigns, wrote to Samoura updating her on the decisions his committee had taken.
In one of his latest updates Vuma wrote to FIFA on November 27 and also explained to Samoura the circumstances leading to the overturning of an Appeals Committee rulings on Kamambo and Banda.
“Please note that having received the Appeals Committee judgment, we the Electoral Committee noted the appeals were not handled in accordance with Article 12 subsection 3 of the electoral code.
“In the interests of justice, we therefore propose that the elections be held as follows:
“Executive Committee members — 1 December 2018, president and vice-president — 8 December 2018,” wrote Vuma.
Crucially for ZIFA and all the prospective candidates in the poll Samoura then wrote back to Vuma outlining FIFA’s position.
“We acknowledge receipt of our letter dated 27 November as well as your earlier correspondence dated 16 and 22 November 2018 in relation to the electoral process of the Zimbabwe Football Association.
“In this context we note that the ZIFA Electoral Committee eventually decided to review its decisions and to allow both Mr Felton Kamambo and Mr Gift Banda to contest in the election for the positions of president and vice-president of ZIFA respectively. We assume that the two candidates have been informed accordingly.
“FIFA expects that elections are carried out in full respect of the applicable regulatory framework. Therefore, we would kindly ask you to adapt the date of the elective congress to be in line with the relevant statutory provisions.
“Finally, we will inform you about FIFA’s possible presence as observer once we receive confirmation of the date of the elections.
“We thank you for taking note of the above and look forward to your timely reply,” Samoura wrote.
The FIFA secretary-general also copied her letter to the Confederation of African