Home » Sports » Zifa Battle Rages On

THE fallout between ZIFA chief executive Jonathan Mashingaidze and defiant councillors who briefly ousted Cuthbert Dube from his post as leader of domestic football, continued yesterday amid claims that a witch-hunt has been launched to try and destroy the mutineers.

However, the defiant councillors are not giving up the battle without a fight and have called for another extraordinary meeting in Harare on June 20, a week before the annual general meeting called by Mashingaidze, which ignores the issues raised by the councillors.

To show how defiant the councillors are, they ignored an ultimatum by Mashingaidze to aise him whether or not they were part of the May 16 meeting in the capital where Dube was briefly ejected from his position as ZIFA president before being saved by FIFA’s intervention.

There is concern that FIFA might be meddling in the internal affairs of ZIFA, based on one-sided information that is being fed, on a regular basis to Zurich, by Mashingaidze since the mutiny exploded on May 16.

The councillors are also concerned that the Sports Commission have been watching from a distance while the ZIFA Constitution is being violated by the game’s leadership and a FIFA directive, that a Joint Congress where the ZIFA extra-ordinary and annual general meeting are held simultaneously, has been ignored.

Last week, Mashingaidze dangled a poisoned carrot to the councillors, for their issues to be included on the agenda for the annual general meeting, but the Councillors feel that his decision to make them sign a form, to confirm whether or not they wanted those issues included, was an ambush.

“The Zimbabwe Football Association hereby requests your esteemed permission to have items, originally circulated for an extraordinary general meeting to be dealt with under the Annual General Meeting’s agenda,” Mashingaidze wrote on Thursday last week.

“The request has been occasioned by the need to have the two meetings held on the same day in the wake of the financial situation currently obtaining.

“The Association can only convene a meeting of the magnitude of a General Meeting by the 27th June 2015. An oral condonation for the request in question shall be made on 27th June 2017.

“Please indicate on the form hereto attached your acceptance of the request in question.”

The Councillors are expected to sign a form which says, “we hereby confirm that we agreedo not agree to have the items of the extraordinary general meeting to be part of the agenda items during the annual general meeting on 27th June 2015,” with the name of the official who signs the form, position and affiliate accompanying the form.

But the councillors feel there is no difference between Mashingaidze’s latest letter, for their issues to be dealt with at the annual general meeting agenda, to the response he gave them in the past when he aised that they would be dealt under the President’s Report.

The Councillors also feel there is no need for them to sign that form since it is not provided for in the ZIFA Constitution and, crucially, it’s an insult to the directive that came from FIFA who provided a Road Map for a resolution of the crisis by ordering that a Joint Congress be held.

FIFA insisted that the councillors’ concerns be included on the agenda of the extraordinary meeting that has to be called for by Mashingaidze although the Councillors are empowered, in the event that the chief executive fails to do that, to call that meeting on their own.

Joseph Musariri, a Councillor who was also a member of the ZIFA Finance Committee before quitting in protest a few months ago, questioned the constitutionality of the move.

“Thank you very much for your request but I am not immediately able to aance my condonation for the following reasons:

1 — The ZIFA Constitution does not appear to provide for such condonation

2 — I am not sure if the request for condonation is being made in good faith since the call for the EGM appears to have been sidelined by your confirmation of the AGM on 27 June before such condonotion was requested.

3 — The agenda items of the requested EGM are not specified in the AGM Agenda. There is, therefore, no guarantee that the EGM Agenda item will be covered at the AGM.

“May you please consider the above input and let me have your guidance, please,” Musariri wrote in his response.

It appears, though, that Mashingaidze has his backs against the wall after the Councillors ignored his ultimatum to aise him by last Friday if they were part of the meeting, held on May 16.

Yesterday, the ZIFA chief executive sent another note reminding the Councillors of the deadline that passed without an input from them.

“The Zimbabwe Football Association hereby makes a follow-up with your esteemed office and person on the confirmation forms we sent you as follows:

1 — Confirmation of attendance of the 16th May 2015 meeting — deadline for submission was 5th June 2015

2 — Confirmation of delegates attending the AGM to be held on 27th June 2015 — deadline was 5th June 2015

3 — Confirmation of agreement to have agenda items of the EGM to be part of the agenda items during the AGM — deadline 8th June 2015

“Please kindly complete the three forms which were sent last week in respect of your confirmations of the above three items,” wrote Mashingaidze. An analyst who has been watching this drama yesterday said the time has come for authorities to intervene.

“What is very clear is that there is a deadlock because the CEO has taken sides and is trying, by all means necessary, to try and ensure that the wishes of those who feel that the leadership has failed and needs to be held accountable are quashed,” he said.

“He has been playing a game that he knows best and it’s all about protecting Cuthbert Dube because he feels that once he goes, he too might go, and the tragedy is that he is the one who is piling all the letters at FIFA and they only sing a song that serves his interests.

“One would have thought that the Sports Commission, by now, would have acknowledged the crisis before it’s too late and try and save the situation but, as is always the case with the SRC, they won’t come in until everything has exploded.”

Source : The Herald