Zifa election ruling today

HARARE - The High Court will today deliver judgment on the Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) election challenge launched by board aspirant Saidi Sangula.

Sangula, chairman of newly-promoted Premier Soccer League (PSL) club ZPC Kariba, argues that the electoral process which will culminate in the national Zifa board elections this Saturday should be stopped allegedly because it is in violation of the association’s amended constitution as well as the electoral code.

Yesterday, presiding judge Justice Francis Bere heard arguments from Sangula’s legal representative, Advocate Erick Matinenga, and those from Zifa’s lawyer, Lewis Uriri.

The hearing was held at Justice Bere’s chambers yesterday afternoon and lasted almost an hour after which both parties emerged hoping to get a favourable outcome today.

Uriri said: “The judge has heard arguments on the preliminary points. He has reserved judgement on the preliminary points.

“He will make his ruling on the preliminary points tomorrow (today) and will decide whether matter will go on to the merits. He said he needs time to consider the preliminary points we took to him today.

“He said one way or the other, he will resolve the matter tomorrow (today).”

Initially, the case was supposed to be heard last Friday but Justice Bere adjourned the matter to yesterday after Sangula sort new legal counsel from Matinenga.

When the ZPC Kariba official first approached the High Court on Wednesday, he was being represented by Harare lawyers Mawere and Sibanda.

Matinenga, however, asked for more time to look at the opposing papers filed by Zifa before he could go on to represent his client.

According to Sangula’s application, which also cited the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) as the second responded, the Zifa election process is flawed in a number of ways.

“On February 24, when doing his research into the process in which he would necessarily need to be involved discovered that the composition of the elective body to conduct the said elections was flawed in that nearly all of the members of the said body were qualified to hold the office,” reads his application.

“He has found the numbers of the committee inflated from the eight allowed by their laws to at least 11.

“On the same day, the applicant addressed a complaint to the 2nd respondent for urgent redress of this anomaly in the sure hope that the issue would be rectified.

“Second respondent delayed in its response and finally on the March 7, 2014, first respondent caused publication of its negative repose in a local newspaper instead of serving same on applicant, leading to applicant to request vital minutes relating to the congress of first respondent which he had no access to as he was prevented from attending the said congress.”

Zifa’s watershed elections are scheduled to be held Saturday and four candidates have filed their nomination papers for the post of president.

Incumbent Zifa boss, Cuthbert Dube, will battle it out with Harare City chairman Leslie Gwindi and outgoing Zifa board member Nigel Munyati.

Trevor Carelse-Juul, who was in charge of the association in the early 90s, also launched his bid for the presidency at the weekend.

The nomination court for the election is expected to announce the names of the successful candidates to contest the election tomorrow.

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