Home » Sports » Time for Real Football Leaders to Stand Up and Be Counted

Calls for the dissolution of the ZIFA board have reached fever pitch with the issue taking centre stage in the August House on Wednesday, January 27, 2015.

Today, the ZIFA board meets the Sports Commission in Harare in a meeting that promises fireworks and that could see the association taming its chief executive Jonathan Mashingaidze.

Sport, Arts and Culture Deputy Minister Tabitha Kanengoni-Malinga on Wednesday boldly called Cuthbert Dube and his board a team of failures and promised action from Government regardless of the consequences.

Such a bold stance had never been heard from the ministry, especially after Minister Andrew Langa’s questionable trip to Brazil for the 2014 World Cup, where he says he was sponsored by SuperSport.

The trip, and allegations of secret meetings between Dube and Langa, have led to suspicions of connivance between the two being levelled on the Minister by Online publication Real Soccer.

The latest concern raised by Parliamentarians, who represent the Zimbabwean masses, has left Langa as the only big figure in Dube’s corner.

How long that is going to last remains to be seen.

However, the Ministry need to deal with its organ charged with the running of the sports association, the Sport and Recreation Commission first.

The SRC has been ineffective not only in dealing with football matters but many other sporting disciplines such as rugby and cricket.

As it is, the SRC is in violation of the statutes as stipulated in section 30 (1) of part V of the SRC Act – Discipline of registered national associations

(1) where the Board considers that any registered national association –

(a) has ceased to operate as a national association or

(b) has failed to comply with any provision of this Act or

(c) has conducted itself in a manner, which is contrary to the national interest

the Board may, after affording the association concerned an opportunity of making representations in the matter, do either or both of the following –

(i) suspend all or any of its officers

(ii) direct the Director General to strike the association from the register.

In defiance and complete violation of this statute, the SRC has remained mum on challenges besieging ZIFA and football in general where it is clear that ZIFA “has conducted itself in a manner, which is contrary to the national interest.”

If Government is to intervene, it should be noted that it won’t be the first and neither will it be the last one to do so.

Zambia and Nigeria are examples that have done so in recent years and their football has moved in the right direction.

The Zambian case in 2010 is a special case where Government intervention led to a special meeting between the warring leaderships of FAZ, government and FIFA.

Interestingly, the issue had sucked in the involvement of the then Zambia president, Rupiah Banda.

Since there is concern on the consequences of direct government intervention by FIFA, the only other way is for change to come from within, that is, from the ZIFA Congress andor the ZIFA Board.

I believe this is the least that they can give to their unhappy constituencies.

As Dube rightly said in Wednesday edition of the NewsDay, it is the Congress that can relieve him of the ZIFA presidency without aerse ramifications from FIFA.

Statutes from the ZIFA constitution gives the Congress the power to do so.

Article 19 (1) states that, “The Congress is the supreme and legislative body” of ZIFA.

According to Article 22 (n), The Congress has the authority to dissolve ZIFA and Article 36 gives the Congress the powers to dismiss a person or body.

Article 36 stipulates that

(1) The Congress may dismiss a person or body. The Executive Committee (ZIFA Board) may place the dismissal of a person or body on the agenda for the Congress.

The Executive Congress may also dismiss a person or body provisionally. Any Executive Committee member may submit a proposal to place such a motion for dismissal on the agenda of the Executive Committee or Congress.

(2) The motion for dismissal must be justified. It will be sent to the members of ZIFA along with the agenda.

(3) The person or body in question has the right to speak in his or its own defence.

(4) If the motion for dismissal is upheld, the Congress or Executive Committee shall reach a decision by means of secret ballot. For the majority to be passed, a majority of two-thirds of the valid votes cast is required.

(5) The person or body dismissed (provisionally) must be relieved of his or its functions with immediate effect.

So using the ZIFA constitution, the Assembly can get rid of Cuthbert at the next Ordinary Congress.

All that is needed is for one member, either a Congress member or the Executive Committee member, to submit the proposal to place the motion for Dube’s dismissal, together with justification, on the agenda of the next Congress meeting.

The onus would be now on the Congress members to vote wisely, according to their constituencies’ expectations, and rid our football of its number one enemy.

However, this might take longer since the dates for the Annual Congress are not yet set and it can take forever if the dismissal motion is forwarded.

And, most of the Congress members, are compromised.

This is where the Executive Committee can exercise its powers and authority to call for an Extraordinary Congress.

Article 28 on Extraordinary Congress stipulates that

(1) The Executive Committee may convene an Extraordinary Congress at any time.

(2) The Members shall be notified of the place, date and agenda at least 14 days before the date of an Extraordinary Congress

(3) When the Extraordinary Congress is convened on the initiative of the Executive Committee, it must draw up the agenda.

(4) The agenda of an Extraordinary Congress may not be altered.

So to speed up the process I proposed above, it is wise for the Executive Committee (at least four of them) to call for an Extraordinary Congress and draw up an agenda with the motion to relieve Dube of his duties as its top priority.

This way the nation won’t have any reason to fear FIFA repercussions.

However, it needs the Executive Committee and the Congress to have the guts and the people’s wishes at heart and restore our football to its past glory.

I think it’s all there for everyone to see that Dube has failed the nation and the longer he stays as ZIFA president, the more our game regresses.

My belief is that the Congress members have come to realise their mistake when they chose Dube for the second term.

Fortunately, they can make amends and deliver our football from the mess it finds itself in.

This is a group that stands accused of feeding from Dube’s hand, whose continued livelihoods are indebted to the ZIFA president.

This is their only chance to redeem themselves and show the nation that they are their own men and women — to show us that they have football and its development at heart.

Our football is at its lowest — crippling debt, weak management systems, and non-existent junior development, lack of accountability and transparency, and above all leadership dearth.

It needs men and women of character and courage to save it.

The ZIFA Board and Congress need stand up and be counted.

Source : The Herald