ZIFA councillors unmoved on indaba Martin Kweza

Grace Chingoma-Senior Sports Reporter

THE ZIFA Congress members have reiterated their extraordinary general meeting (EGM), set for April this year, will proceed as scheduled. 

They have insisted the drama, sparked by the arrest and gagging of the suspended ZIFA board members, has no bearing on their move to exercise their constitutional right to have the make-or-break indaba. 

On Monday, the suspended ZIFA executive, led by Felton Kamambo, was barred by a Harare magistrate from continuing to project themselves as the leaders of local football.

They were barred from visiting ZIFA House, at 53 Livingstone Avenue in Harare, and from sending any communication, in which they portrayed themselves as the association’s leaders. 

The suspended leaders were also ordered to surrender their travel documents, not to interfere with any witnesses or visit ZIFA House. 

They will also have to report to their nearest police stations once a week. 

Harare magistrate, Stanford Mambanje, made the order on Monday after Kamambo and his fellow suspended board members appeared in court facing fraud charges. 

Kamambo and Philemon Machana were arrested on Saturday on fraud charges. 

The duo, and another board member, Stanley Chapeta, were each given $100 000 bail while Joseph Mamutse and Brighton Malandule were released on free bail, because they were not brought to court by the police. 

They are all set to return to court on March 31. 

The Sports and Recreation Commission are the complainants in the case and it follows the regulator’s suspension of the ZIFA board for gross incompetence and alleged misappropriation of the association’s funds, on November 16, last year. 

Since that suspension, there has been drama in domestic football with the suspended leaders insisting they still retain the mandate to run the game because they have the backing of FIFA. 

However, they were not involved in the Warriors’ preparations, and participation, at the 2021 AFCON finals in Cameroon, which was wholly bankrolled by the Government. 

There has been concern in domestic football that the orders from the court, which prohibit the suspended leaders from executing any business related to the game, might affect the proposed extraordinary meeting. 

However, the councillors, whose numbers have swollen in recent weeks as more congress members turn against the suspended leaders, said nothing will change. 

After all, they said, they gave the suspended leaders enough notice to organise the indaba, as per the provisions of the ZIFA constitution.

The initial notice was given on January 3, this year. 

However, rather than responding to the request by the congress members, the suspended leaders went on a witch-hunt, to try and threaten those who were calling for the indaba. 

Yesterday, ZIFA Northern Region Division One chairperson, Martin Kweza, who speaks on behalf of the councillors calling for the EGM, said nothing has changed and the recent drama will not affect their indaba. 

“We have read, through the newspapers, of the arrest of the suspended board members and subsequent granting of bail conditions for the same,” said Kweza. 

“This is a very interesting development for us, as members who called for the Extraordinary General Meeting. 

“In terms of our constitution, the members who called for the EGM, will proceed and call for the EGM themselves, after the expiration of 90-days provided for in the constitution, that is April 3. 

“It is unfortunate that up until the day the EGM will be held, there is going to be a leadership vacuum in our football. 

“We are happy as members that we will finally have our EGM, as requested, and resolve the current challenges bedevilling our football.”

According to the ZIFA Constitution, Article 28, which deals with the extraordinary congress, it stipulates that:

1) The executive committee may convene the extraordinary congress.

2) The executive committee shall convene an extraordinary congress if one third of the members of ZIFA (Congress) make such a request in writing. The request shall specify the items for the Agenda. An extraordinary congress shall be held, within three months of receipt, of the request. If an extraordinary congress is not convened, the members who requested it may convene the Congress themselves. As a last resort, the members may request assistance from CAF or FIFA. 

3) The members shall be notified of the place, date and agenda, at least 14 days, before the date of the extraordinary congress. 

4) When an extraordinary congress is convened on the initiative of the executive committee, it must draw up the agenda. When an extraordinary congress is convened upon the request of members, the agenda must contain the points raised by those members. 

5) The agenda of an extraordinary congress may not be altered.” 

The ZIFA Councillors, pushing for the EGM, are set to revoke the mandate of Kamambo and his board.

They wanted to hold their meeting at the end of last month but FIFA intervened and suggested that doing so could be a violation of the ZIFA Constitution. 

Kweza said they were prepared to wait for April. 

“We, therefore, note that the instruction from FIFA demands that we merely wait for the 90 days as noted in Article 28(2) to lapse,” he said. 

“As members of ZIFA, who are subordinate to the ZIFA constitution, we will wait for the prescribed 90-day period to lapse on April 3. 

“As members, we will proceed and properly call for our extraordinary general meeting in terms of Article 28(2).”

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