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It was shocking to hear Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) board chairman Edward Siwela telling the nation that they were investigating the Zimbabwe Football Association [Zifa] to find out what exactly was going on before they could take action.
By MICHAEL KARIATI
The question is: what is there to investigate at Zifa when the football federation is operating with three executive members instead of the required eight and when the association has failed to hold its elections as per its constitution?
What is there to investigate at Zifa when all the three remaining Zifa board members — president Phillip Chiyangwa, his vice Omega Sibanda and board member Philemon Machana — are busy pursuing their political interests instead of football?
Is the SRC waiting for a time when all the three are in political office to realise that something is really terribly wrong at the football headquarters?
Who will make decisions at Zifa when these people take to the streets campaigning in political elections?
Isn’t it the duty of the SRC to ask those with political interests to vacate sport office and concentrate on what they prefer most?
What is clearly evident is that there is also confusion at the SRC with regard to the Zifa status quo after earlier in the year the sports commission’s acting director general Joseph Muchechetere highlighted in correspondence to Fifa that there was a crisis at the football controlling body.
So what is there for the SRC to investigate when they already know that there are problems at the national football federation which need to be sorted out? What is there at Zifa that the SRC want to find out that they do not know already?
The longer the SRC take their time to act on Zifa, the better it suits those in office who have deliberately been delaying the holding of elections or have the intention of shelving the elections for good.
One gets the feeling that the SRC has the intention of setting up another commission of inquiry into the situation at Zifa when what the eye sees is good enough to reveal that all is not well at the football headquarters.
For once, the SRC should abandon this system of investigations and commissions of inquiry into football administration which do not seem to be getting Zimbabwean football anywhere.
How many investigations and commissions of inquiry has the SRC instituted at Zifa and what have been the results? There was the Justice Paddington Garwe Commission of 1997 and lately the Obadiah Moyo Commission of Inquiry — and many others in between — but what happened to the findings?
Only last year the SRC instituted another commission of inquiry whose findings have been kept a closely-guarded secret to date.
Already questions are being asked as to what exactly is the role of this SRC as many do not seem to get the reason why it is there in the first place when it is failing to deal with small matters like a football administration problem.
In fact, apart from taking over the running of the Annual National Sports Awards from the Sports Writers’ Association of Zimbabwe, what has the SRC done since it was created by an Act of Parliament in 1989?
Conflicts at national associations continue to be the order of the day. Football, Zimbabwe’s most popular sport, is in shambles and — above all — national teams continue to be withdrawn from international participation due to lack of funds. Yet the SRC claim they are the supreme sports body in the country.