FORMER ZIFA accountant Fabian Vanganayi has made a sensational U-turn by offering an apology to domestic football governing body’s leadership for having been part of a cabal that has been engaged in a vicious boardroom fight against Philip Chiyangwa and his executive.
Vanganayi says he was forced to join those who are fighting the ZIFA leadership, who include the association’s former chief executive Jonathan Mashingaidze because he was unhappy with the way he was dismissed from his job.
Three months ago, Vanganayi wrote to the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission asking the anti-graft body to investigate Chiyangwa over alleged corrupt activities since he assumed leadership of domestic football in December 2015.
He accused Chiyangwa of involvement in acts of “corruption, fraud, misappropriation, abuse of power, misconduct and lack of good corporate governance” since taking over as ZIFA boss from Cuthbert Dube, whose mandate was revoked by the councillors.
Vanganayi was hailed as a credible whistleblower by some sections of the local media after he made his report to ZACC. However, in a sensational turn of events, Vanganayi has now issued an apology to ZIFA and asked for forgiveness for the part he played in the messy boardroom fights, which appear to have been distinguished after the association held a successful annual meeting in Harare last Saturday where their accounts were adopted by the councillors.
Ahead of that meeting, the cabal fighting Chiyangwa and his team had launched a spirited social media campaign to try and either discredit that annual meeting or even stop it from going ahead as they claimed it was an illegal gathering given, in their opinion, the mandate of some of the councillors had elapsed.
However, the ZIFA councillors ignored all that noise and turned up in numbers for their congress, where they came up with a number of resolutions. Vanganayi is the first member of that cabal to withdraw his membership and even offer an apology as the unit starts to crumble.
“Baba, extend my apologies to yourself, the president and Mr (Philemon) Machana,” Vanganayi wrote in a message to ZIFA vice-president Omega Sibanda.
Machana is the ZIFA board member in charge of finance.
“I was emotional (about) the way the association treated (me) since 5 June (2016) to date. I want to assure you that I have ceased to be part of the fights against your leadership.’’
ZIFA had accused him, together with former finance manager Benjamin Dhewa and Mashingaidze of being part of a cartel of football leaders, who had captured Zimbabwean football for years in which they ran a fraudulent multi-million-dollar scheme that ripped the game of its financial muscle.
ZIFA even reported their case to the police, alleging the trio worked in cahoots to milk the association during their time as leaders of both the financial and administrative arms of the country’s football governing body.
The association dubbed it “ZIFA capture” and claimed the alleged fraudulent activities of the trio ripped the heart off domestic football and left it resembling a shell weighed down by a debt that ballooned from $600 000 to over $7 million in less than six years.
The Warriors were also expelled from the FIFA 2018 World Cup qualifiers for the first time in their history after ZIFA failed to pay the team’s former coach Valinhos about $68 000 despite the PSL having forwarded a similar amount from their coffers for the dissolution of the debt.
The money paid by the PSL, just like about $55 000 that was given to ZIFA by their benefactor Walter Magaya for the Young Warriors COSAFA Under-20 Tournament in South Africa in 2015, did not find its way to the intended destination. This led to the prophet publicly rebuking Mashingaidze for the way his financial support ended in the wrong hands.
“We made a report with the above RRB Number (report on theft/fraud at ZIFA RRB 3370999) on Saturday 16 December 2017, wherein the accused person was one Jonathan Mashingaidze,” read a report filed with the police by ZIFA chief executive Joseph Mamutse.
“Further perusal of the information at hand has revealed that the accused worked with the following persons in committing the crimes in the report and others. Mr Benjamin Dhewa ID number 18-06224 D 18 of 1619 Damofalls and Mr Fabian Madzima Vanganayi of Second Avenue, Mbare.
“The criminal activities took place over several years ,with the parties taking advantage of their positions and influential offices to siphon money out of the institution fraudulently.
“The three cases in the 2011 Audit Report (reveal):
1) theft of an amount of $41 215
2) theft of amount of $99 648
3) fraud amounting to $744 635
“It has now come out that the trio, working together and at times individually, stole or misappropriated or defrauded the association of various amounts on several occasions some of which are listed below:
- a) Mr Fabian Venangayi stole $1 500 by way of withholding part of the gate takings and converted the amount to his own use and never returned the money to ZIFA.
- b) The trio took advantage of a garnishee order placed on ZIFA BancABC account and fraudulently withdrew money from the account and converted it to own use. We are requesting the Zimbabwe Republic Police to effect arrest of these criminals and bring them to book.’’