Banda clocks 508 days in the dark Gift Banda

Sikhumbuzo Moyo in BULAWAYO

TODAY marked exactly 508 days since the ZIFA board suspended vice president Gift Banda.

The Bulawayo businessman was suspended over a litany of charges, including allegedly usurping the powers of the executive, by unilaterally making changes to the Warriors technical staff.

On January 8, 2019, Banda in the absence of ZIFA president, Felton Kamambo, who had gone to Senegal to attend the CAF awards, announced the appointment of Tonderayi Ndiraya and Bongani Mafu as Sunday Chidzambwa’s assistants.

The duo replaced Lloyd Mutasa and Rahman Gumbo.

The appointments were made with the Warriors just a game away from securing another dance at the AFCON finals.

Banda also announced that Nick Munyonga had bounced back as the Warriors team doctor.

However, the changes were nullified by the ZIFA board who then decided to suspend him on January 18.

The Bulawayo businessman then saw his suspension being quashed, by the ZIFA disciplinary committee, in March this year.

However, the association took the case to their Appeals Board who threw out that appeal on a technicality after ZIFA could not provide proof they paid for the case to be heard.

The ZIFA lawyers now say they have found the proof and have made an application to the ZIFA Appeals Board to have the case heard.

“The current status is that it is a matter that is still pending before the ZIFA Appeals Committee,’’ ZIFA lawyer, Chenaimoyo Gumiro, told our sister newspaper, The Sunday Mail, at the weekend.

“The Appeals Committee met on Tuesday and it held the appeal that had been filed to be defective on the basis that there was no proof that the appeals fees were paid.

“At that particular date we could not locate the receipt that the payment had been made, but subsequent to that, we have since located the proof of payment and we have made an application for the condonation for the failure to attach the proof of payment and the application is now before the Appeals Committee.

“As such, the matter has to be determined as to enable the Appeals Committee to delve into the merits of the matter . . . on Tuesday the appeals did not delve on the merits of the matter.

“He (Banda) remains suspended. We have now made an application to regularise that anomaly. The receipt has been availed to Appeals Committee, but it has to be done via an application . . . whilst that is done, he remains suspended.’’

However, ZIFA Appeals Board chairman, Harare lawyer Stead Kachere, insisted Banda had reverted to his position as the association’s vice-president.

The case mirrors the one when the then ZIFA vice-president Omega Sibanda was suspended by Cuthbert Dube, who was the head of the association, in May 2015.

Sibanda was suspended alongside the then ZIFA board member in charge of finance, Ben Gwarada, and six other councillors.

However, the Bulawayo businessman took his case to the electorate, the people who had voted him into office, and pleaded his case.

He convinced them he was just a victim of people who were not in favour of corporate governance.

The councillors saw sense in his argument and this led to a revolt which toppled the Dube leadership.

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