Senior Sports Reporter
IT’S now the final countdown as domestic football awaits the release of the forensic audit into the ZIFA financial affairs anytime soon.
The completion of the exercise is one of the requirements which the Sports and Recreation Commission have outlined as part of the process to cleanse the national game.
The national sports regulator gave a timeline in which they expected the audit to be completed by the end of this month.
There are only a few days left before the month comes to an end and the expected release of the findings appears to have become the dominant subject in local football.
ZIFA acting president, Gift Banda, said they were eagerly awaiting the completion of the exercise.
BDO Chartered Accountants are understood to have completed their report after they were furnished with clarity and insight into some of the transactions involving the finances of ZIFA.
Although the Sports Commission could not confirm receipt of the forensic report yet, sources told The Herald that the report is now ready.
And the forensic audit is likely to open a lid on the rot of football in this country and how FIFA funds were misappropriated by the ZIFA executive led by the fired Felton Kamambo.
The audit report will likely shake the local football landscape as important transactions such as the legacy debt that received a huge cash injection from FIFA in May 2020 to cater to the association’s crippling debt are revisited and zoomed on.
The legacy debt was settled in local currency despite ZIFA receiving the tranche of the money in hard currency. Kamambo’s leadership insisted that they were observing the then country’s exchange rate.
Yesterday, Banda, who is in London on a business trip, said they are ready for the outcome of the BDO Chartered Accountants’ findings.
“We are waiting for the audit report’s finalisation and release. We are ready to receive the report and its contents. We are also ever ready to implement whatever is required of us so that football gets its closure and football moves on,” said Banda.
The acting ZIFA president said they are anxiously waiting for the report that is likely going to be released soon. Banda is expected to return home early next week from Europe.
The Sports Commission acting director-general, Sebastian Garikai, yesterday reiterated that the report would be availed once they receive it.
“The Sports and Recreation Commission is yet to receive the ZIFA Audit report. However, we are confident that the report will be availed. The public will be notified through the relevant channels in that regard,” said Garikai.
The ZIFA Restructuring Committee is also expected to present their findings and recommendations to the Sports Commission at almost the same time that the audit would be released.
The Restructuring Committee is edging closer to completing their mission. Their mandate runs up to December 2022.
The Sports Commission, in a statement a fortnight ago, said the recommendations by the Blessing Rugara-chaired Committee will form the basis of the Implementation Matrix.
“The Restructuring Committee expects to complete its findings and final recommendations to the SRC within a period that will allow ZIFA members, in a general meeting, to consider the same adoption. The recommendations will form the basis of the Implementation Matrix: it being noted that the Restructuring Committee submitted its preliminary findings to the SRC in August, 2022.
“Upon the submission of the final BDO forensic audit report as well as that of the Restructuring Committee, ZIFA shall convene an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) of its members to consider the same. It is expected of the SRC that this EGM takes place in October 2022.
“Thereafter, the issues adopted during the EGM will form the basis of the Implementation Matrix (with times and deadlines for the discharge of agreed reform goals). This matrix will be made available to FIFA and CAF,” read the statement.
After the two reports have been released and put into action, the Sports Commission expect ZIFA to adopt a new constitution that should pave way for an election roadmap from the grassroots structures to the executive committee early next year.
“A key component to the Implementation Matrix is the adoption of a new constitution by the members of ZIFA in December 2022, after which and subject to the provisions of the new constitution, the holding of new elections from grassroots structures to Executive committee level in 2023,” read the statement.