THERE is no end in sight to the Zifa election circus after the association’s electoral committee yesterday postponed the executive committee plebiscite to December 16 after some candidates cried foul over the electoral process.
BY HENRY MHARA
The elections for the executive board member posts had been scheduled for tomorrow, while those for the presidency and vice-presidency had been slated for Saturday next week.
But after some candidates in the elections poked holes into the flawed electoral process, raising a myriad of irregularities in the Zifa constitution and the electoral code by scheduling the elections on those days, the electoral committee then decided to reschedule the dates.
The disgruntled candidates, it appears, have lost trust in the Zifa electoral committee on the back of some questionable decisions and blunders that they have made and are now pushing for Fifa to appoint a normalisation committee to run the election.
The committee did not give reasons why they have pushed the dates forward. In a brief statement yesterday, the committee said: “The Zifa electoral committee hereby, notifies all football stakeholders of the postponement of the Zifa executive committee elections as follows: Date: 16 December 2018. Venue: Zifa Village.”
The decision came hours after disgruntled candidates, led by presidential challenger Felton Kamambo, wrote to the committee, citing gross irregularities in the electoral process.
Kamambo, who had initially been barred from challenging incumbent Phillip Chiyangwa, in what appeared to be a choreographed plot, before the ban was lifted by Fifa, now wants the world soccer governing body to appoint a normalisation committee to run the elections – just like what happened in Madagascar last month, when they were faced with a similar scenario.
In his letter, Kamambo wrote: “I acknowledge receipt of your letter dated November 27 in which you advised that your committee had reviewed the decision made by the Zifa appeals committee to bar me from taking part in the coming election and that I am also eligible to contest now. It is a welcome development that you have now seen the light and decided to allow me to contest.
“However, I am puzzled by the way your esteemed committee continues to blatantly breach, the Zifa constitution and the electoral code, particularly Article 6(1), which stipulates that one of your key duties is to ‘strictly enforce the statutes, directives and regulations of Fifa, Caf and Zifa’.
“I am left wondering where on earth your committee gets the power to review a decision of the upper committee, that is the appeals committee. Article 12 (4) of the electoral code clearly outlines that ‘the decisions of the electoral appeals committee are final and may not be monitored by any government body’.
“That, as it may and in compliance with the statutes, I have taken my issue up with the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) and Fifa for redress, since I had exhausted all the internal processes. I am currently waiting for the responses of the two entities, since you no longer have locus standi to review my matter. Until I get guidance from Fifa and or SRC, your letter shall remain of no use or force.”
The former Zifa board member accused the electoral committee of breaching the Zifa statutes at will and said he had also lost confidence in them to deliver a credible and acceptable election. “I have personally lost confidence and trust in your committee.”
Kamambo was banned together with Gift Banda, who is also challenging Chiyangwa’s deputy Omega Sibanda, and Moyo. Their bans were also lifted.
Another Zifa executive board member aspirant Barrymore Manandi on Wednesday pulled out of the race, citing similar reasons.
Manandi, a prominent sportscaster, was vying for one of the four seats in the executive committee against seven other hopefuls who include Sugar Chagonda, Mlungisi Moyo, Rodrick Chamunorwa, Chamu Chiwanza, Stanley Chapeta, Philemon Machana and Brighton Malandule. He said he pulled out because “there is just too much dirt” and felt his name could not be used to validate a flawed election.