Gift Banda in BULAWAYO
WHEN I was voted into office, I said our responsibility was to live by the football bible, which is the ZIFA constitution and, as such, the constitution is the one that should guide the ZIFA leadership in its dealings.
It must be noted that the reason for my suspension was that I announced the changes to the senior national teams when I was acting-president of the association, which the president himself Felton Kamambo was aware of subject.
Prior to his trip to Senegal, Kamambo and myself extensively deliberated the changes and some of the board members were aware of those discussions, how then the president flip-flopped to say he was in the dark it surprises me.
Note that before he embarked on his trip to Senegal he came to Bulawayo where we spoke about these changes.
The decisions I made, on behalf of the association as acting president, were never meant to bring the game of football into disrepute, but were done in good faith of stabilising our game and strengthen the structures of the national teams.
Sunday Chidzambwa’s contract had expired on 31 December 2018, but Kamambo is on record assuring the national team head coach that he was guaranteed of a contract extension, even without the input of the ZIFA board.
The contract of the current head coach expired at the end of December 2018 and the board has not renewed, in writing, his contract and yet it is in the public domain that Chidzambwa is the substantive head coach.
I believe I’m a victim of upholding governance of principles and my suspension was well-calculatedas it happened after I had expressed my reservations on how the association was dealing with the FIFA funds.
What surprises me is that the animosity arose after ZIFA received funds from FIFA in December.
The board was supposed to decide how the funds were supposed to be used or distributed.
How the funds were distributed is something for another day, but I refuse to have my image tainted by operating outside the legal framework, like using the funds outside an open market.
I committed myself to work for football, with the rest of the board, and when those 35 councillors voted for me, our duty was to have clean operations and serve football not self-interests.
I believe what has happened to me is not only a clear violation of the constitution or disrespect to the councillors, who entrusted us with the mandate to serve football, but a spat on the face to those who believe in abiding by the constitution.
The suspension could be an indication that the board is no different from the previous one that deliberately flouted the constitution by suspending members while there were no judiciary bodies to hear the matters.
I have been charged of a number of omissions and yet I do not know when I should respond to the allegations, I don’t know which committee I am supposed to appear before and which date, place and time.
Public announcement on ZIFA sponsorship and other strategic issues have been made by the ZIFA president without the consent of the ZIFA board.
The ZIFA president met with former ZIFA president (Philip) Chiyangwa without the knowledge and approval of the ZIFA Board and announcements about the two’s meetings were made through the media much to the surprise of the ZIFA Board.
Role conflict and confusion have characterised the new Board’s first 30 days in office as a result of not having been inducted by the SRC (Sports Commission) and FIFA on the roles and responsibilities of the ZIFA Board members.
In the absence of a proper induction Board members are likely to drift away in different directions.
The Technical Development Committee, just like any other standing committee, is yet to be operational.
I hope this matter is resolved quickly in the best interest of football.
As my last words, I would like to thank football stakeholders who have stood by me during these trying times and have even offered to cater for the bills of a forensic audit for the duration of the new board, that’s from 16 December 2018 to date.
I believe such an audit will restore the confidence of all football stakeholders as we seek to develop our game.
Gift Banda, who was suspended as ZIFA vice-president last week, issued this press statement when he addressed a press conference in Bulawayo yesterday.
Source : The Herald