Phillip Chiyangwa given a strong warning
The Sport and Recreation Commission (SRC) has issued a chilling warning to the local football controlling body Zifa over its continued disregard of its own constitution saying they “will not hesitate to step in and restore order”.
In a strongly-worded statement the SRC acting director-general, Joseph Muchechetere, said they were aware of the constitutional crisis bedevilling local football.
Zifa failed to organise elections for its structures in line with its own constitution putting the entire electoral process in jeopardy since the term of office of some of the councillors in the Area Zones, Nash, Naph and regions expired.
Ordinarily, elections are held in the area zones followed by provinces and then come regions with and finally the Zifa board whose term comes to an end on March 29.
“The Sports and Recreation Commission has observed events at the Zimbabwe Football Association regarding the alleged failure to organise elections for its structures and we hereby wish to pronounce our position to the leadership of Zifa, its members, stakeholders and the public as follows:
“1. That we are in the process of engaging the leadership of Zifa to offer them advice on how to properly handle the situation i.e the electoral process for all Zifa structures in line with the Zifa constitution,
“2. Wish to make it clear to Zifa or any other Sport and Recreation organisation that we expect them to operate within the confines of their respective constitutions, provisions of the SRC Act, which is the prevailing national law on the organisation and administration of sport in Zimbabwe.
“3. Any deviation from the above requirements will be unacceptable and will not hesitate to step in and restore order. May you be guided accordingly,” the SRC said.
The warning by the SRC comes after Zifa failed to hold their annual general meeting (AGM) last year, which would have paved way for elections in March.
Although the football mother body rescheduled the meeting to next Saturday, elections are due for all of Zifa’s affiliates from the area zones with the exception of the Premier Soccer League which casts a further doubt on legality of the upcoming AGM.
While Zifa yesterday insisted that the meeting would go ahead as planned, there are fears that its members cannot constitute a quorum as stipulated in Article 23.1 of the Zifa constitution.
“I cannot comment about the statement by the SRC, but I can confirm that the Zifa AGM will go ahead as planned,” Zifa communications officer Xolisani Gwesela said yesterday.
Former Zifa vice-president Ndumiso Gumede said the upcoming AGM was illegal.
“Zifa’s move is illegal, they must adhere themselves to the dictates of the constitution. The fact that they failed to hold an AGM for the whole of 2017 is a cause for concern,” Gumede told Standardsport.
“They have already breached the constitution and it looks like they are going to breach it even further because elections ought to have been done by now at the lower levels which would then usher in a new set of councillors by the end of March.
“Only then we would be in a position to hold elections for the entire Zifa excecutive but that again has not taken place. It now means there’s a lot of illegality in local football and Zifa cannot be allowed continue to breach the constitution willy-nilly,” he said.
The Philip Chiyangwa-led Zifa leadership has been accused of dithering over the election roadmap in order to prolong their mandate and then buy time to attend this year’s Fifa World Cup to be held in Russia in June.
Recently the Zifa leadership reportedly made overtures to world football governing body Fifa seeking an extension to their term of office beyond March 29.
The Zifa constitution, however, has no provision for extension of mandate.