Petros Kausiyo Deputy Sports Editor
THE Sports Commission have relaunched their desperate bid to try and suspend the ZIFA board by accusing the association of failing to pay levies and not submitting any activity report to them. The commission claimed in a two-page letter to the association’s president Philip Chiyangwa last Friday that they were yet to be furnished with a report on the goings-on at the football body, including audited financial statements for the last two years.
Acting Sports Commission director-general Joseph Muchechetere, who has been leading the battle to suspend ZIFA, authored the letter.
He gave ZIFA seven days to respond to their demands and threatened unspecified action should they fail to comply in terms of Section 30 of their constitution.
Muchechetere said the prima facie allegations were that ZIFA are in contravention of a number of sections of Chapter 25:15 of the SRC Act.
“The SRC calls upon you to give an explanation on why certain statutory requirements have not been complied with by yourselves.
“Take note that a comprehensive written report is required to enable the commission to make decisions on whether or not to invoke the provisions of Section 30 of the SRC Act Chapt 25:15.
“The commission requires you to write and submit the said comprehensive report within seven working days from the date of receipt of this letter, failure of which the commission reserves the right to make any decision without further recourse to yourselves.
“The allegations that seem to be prima facie in contravention of the Act are summarised as follows:
- Contravening Section 29 (9) (a) of the SRC Act (Chapt 25:15) in that the defendants/accused failed to comply with the requirements that compel the national association to submit its reports on its activities for the years 2016 and 2017 respectively
- Contravening Section 29 (8) of the SRC Act (Chapt 25:15) in that the defendants/accused failed to comply with the requirements for the national association to submit its audit balance sheet and income and expenditure account for the year 2017 which fell due by December 31 2017
- Contravening Section 29 (9) of the SRC Act (Chapt 25:15) in that the defendants/accused failed to comply with the requirements for the national association to submit its estimates of income and expenditure of the year 2018 which were due by December 2017
- Contravention of Section 26 (1) (a) of the SRC Act (Chapt 25:15) and Sport and Recreation Commission (general) regulations in that the defendants/accused failed to comply with the requirements for the national associations to remit annual levy and submit annual membership returns for the year 2016 and 2017 which fell due by 31 December 2016 and 31 December 2017.
“In view of the above, the SRC decided to proceed in terms of the SRC Act (Chapt 25:15) and hereby invites you to make representation either through a written response to this communiqué or in person no later that seven working days from the day of receiving this communication,’’ wrote Muchechetere.
Chiyangwa on Wednesday wrote back to Muchechetere and indicated that he would convene a board meeting before responding to the allegations being raised by the commission and requested “14 days to ventilate on the matter and respond fully’’.
However, sources close to the goings-on at ZIFA revealed that the football chiefs were not amused with the Sports Commission’s latest bid to frustrate them. Given the fact that the Sports Commission have been siding with some rebels, who had convinced Muchechetere and his chairman Edward Siwela into replacing the Chiyangwa leadership with a normalisation committee, the timing of the move has been viewed with suspicion of being “more of a plot to scuttle the ZIFA election process that has already taken off the ground’’.
“There is a genuine belief that the SRC are on a witch hunt again after their failed bid to rule that the term of the ZIFA board had expired. It all started in December last year when the Sports Commission influenced councillors to have the AGM deferred and when FIFA made it clear that they recognised the current board, there has now been a shift of focus to try and suspend this board and make those sitting in it ineligible for the elections,’’ the sources said.
Questions have also been posed on claims by the Sports Commission that they have not received audited accounts and activity reports from ZIFA for 2016 and 2017, when communication from the association’s chief executive Joseph Mamutse on March 17 shows that the football body indeed submitted their accounts and minutes of their February 17 annual meeting.
ZIFA, the sources also said are contesting claims that they have been defaulting on paying levies despite reports that the commission now tasks an official at every Premiership and national team game to collect money direct from the cash rooms.
“At every match there is an SRC officer waiting to collect money after a game direct from the cash room, be it a PSL game or a national team match, so how can ZIFA be in arrears
“SRC are saying ZIFA should collect $4 from every player registered to play in this country, but when one looks at the ZIFA constitution, the athletes are not members of ZIFA, the members of ZIFA are the affiliate bodies such as NASH, NAPH, Futsal, Beach Soccer, PSL and Women’s League.
“ZIFA accounts have been audited on a year by year basis since 2016 and hence FIFA have been releasing the FIFA forward funds and the SRC are aware of all this,’’ the sources said.