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ZIFA assembly members have warned their board to kiss up and make up or face severe sanctions including suspension from local football’s top policy making body.

It emerged last night that debate during the lengthy ZIFA extraordinary meeting at ZIFA Village in Mt Hampden yesterday had been centred on a censure of the board by councillors who were not amused by the conduct and the huge cracks that have characterised the association’s leadership.

With the Sport and Recreation Commission having already warned against any suspensions of members, at least until the David Mutambara committee finishes its probe, there were no threats of a purge of those deemed to be dissenting voices while the agenda items also did not include discussion on the issue.

Instead, much of the discussion was, according to ZIFA spokesman Xolisani Gwesela spent on debating a report on the state of football by the association’s president Cuthbert Dube.

“There was robust debate on the president’s speech which touched on the state of football and his warning that we should not consume what we don’t have.

“He warned that in future ZIFA would have to enter a limited number of competitions because we cannot take part in competitions where the money is not there.

“In his speech the president also complained of disunity within his board and there was lengthy debate by the councillors on that because the assembly members were dismayed by reports of disunity,” Gwesela said.

The assembly was also told that FIFA had agreed with ZIFA to engage a private law firm in Harare that would assist the beleaguered association with handling issues related to their crippling debts and disbursements of FIFA’s financial assistance.

Gwesela, however declined to the law firm that would be handling FIFA funding to ZIFA

But sources close to the goings-on at ZIFA indicated that Harare law firm Dube, Manikai and Hwacha had been chosen to ensure there was transparency in the financial assistance that would have been channeled to ZIFA from FIFA.

The sources said the assembly had also implored Dube as the association’s principal figure to deal more decisively with the discontent and the discord in his board and ensure they work for common goal.

“Essentially the assembly gave the board a chance to reunite failure which the assembly will deal the matter as they see fit and based on the reports and the evidence that would have been brought before them.

“Disunity within the board took most of the time as councillors really wanted to understand what has been going on.

“At the end of the day the president was tasked to look at the evidence he has concerning leakage of confidential association business to the media and he should act to bring an end to it before the AGM.

“Despite being excluded from some football matters, the ZIFA vice-president Omega Sibanda vowed that he is and would remain 100 percent behind his president and the board,” the sources said.

During his state of football address Dube also touched on their long list of creditors and told the assembly that they were targeting to clear their debt by 2017 if they failed to get outside help and by the end of this year if government and other stakeholders chip in and come on board to help.

Apart from discussion on Dube’s state of football address, the councillors also heard reports by the electoral committee and took time to discuss and ratify the association’s rules and regulations that have been amended to suit the current global football trends.

The assembly, Gwesela, also said resolved to defer debate on the strategic plan as they wanted more time to go through the draft plan.

The assembly is now set to meet again at the end of March for their annual meeting at which an evaluation is to be made on whether indeed the board would have mended the cracks that have been glaring in the public domain, with board member finance Bernard Gwarada bitterly complaining of being sidelined from all financial matters of the association, despite chairing the key finance committee.

Gwarada was, however, the only board member who did not attend not attend yesterday’s assembly meeting.

Source : The Herald