Senior Sports Reporter
ZIFA chief executive, Joseph Mamutse, will have to remain frozen out of mainstream football administration after he lost his Administrative Court case.
He was challenging his suspension by the Sport and Recreation Commission.
Mamutse was suspended together with Sports Commission director-general Prince Mupazviriho last year.
The suspensions were effected to pave the way for a probe into how the pair allegedly cleared a number of national teams, clandestinely, for assignments outside the country, without following Covid-19 protocols.
Mamutse also faced charges related to the manner in which Zimbabwe was left embarrassed after the national Under-17 side were kicked out of the COSAFA tournament for age-cheating.
The beleaguered ZIFA chief executive, who in November caused a stir when he defied his suspension arguing that he had appealed to the Administrative Court, this week lost his bid in the same court.
According to a ruling by the Administrative Court, Mamutse’’s appeal was defective and was struck off the roll with costs.
The Administrative Court had also joined another appeal, lodged by the suspended Felton Kamambo board, to Mamutse’s case.
It was on the basis that Mamutse’s case was dismissed that Kamambo, Philemon Machana and Bryton Malandule, who were the appellants, also lost on a technicality.
In its judgment Justice Mandeya wrote, “Two preliminary objections were raised by the respondent.
“The first is that the notice of appeal should have been directed and delivered to the presiding officer of the tribunal whose decision is appealed against.
“This is because r 4(1) of the Administrative Court (Miscellaneous Appeals) Rules, 1980 provides:
“An appeal shall be instituted by means of a notice directed and delivered by the appellant to the presiding officer of the tribunal whose decision is appealed against . . . ’
“In this case the presiding officer of the tribunal which made the decision that was appealed against Gerald Mlotshwa. The appeal is for that reason not in compliance with r 4(1) of this court’s Rules.
“It is defective. It must be struck off.
“In this case the notice of appeal was not directed and delivered to the presiding officer of the tribunal which made the decision appealed against. It is not compliant with r 4(1) of this court’s rules.
“It is defective and a nullity.”
There was some sympathy, though, for Mamutse and crew.
“In this case, respondent decided to suspend both appellants in Case Number 65/20 and Case Number 66/20.
“The appellants, in both cited cases, were clearly not afforded opportunities of making representations before they were suspended.
“In that regard they have justification for filing the present appeal.
“The issue to be resolved in the present case is whether the decision to suspend both appellants, without hearing them first, should be upheld.
“Section 30 (1) of the Sports and Recreation Commission Act, (Chapter 25:15) demands that the blamed party be heard before being suspended.
“As that was not done, the suspension in their respective cases ought to be set aside.”
However, the application by the crew still came short.
“That upholding of the first preliminary point means that the appeal is defective. It cannot be condoned or amended despite the sympathies expressed by the court.
“Overall, therefore, the notice of appeal is defective for non-compliance with 4(1) of this court’s rules.
“The preliminary point is upheld. As stated in the Jensen v Acavalos’s case the appeal must be struck off the roll with costs,” reads the judgment.