Zifa polls to go ahead

HARARE - The Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) elections will go ahead this Saturday after the High Court yesterday dismissed board aspirant Saidi Sangula’s application seeking to block the poll.

Sangula had approached the court alleging that the electoral process which will culminate in Saturday’s election is in violation of the Zifa amended constitution as well as the electoral code.

Yesterday, Justice Francis Bere, who presided over the matter in his chambers, dismissed Sangula’s application paving the way for the election to go ahead.

Speaking after the hearing which lasted nearly two hours, Zifa lawyer Lewis Uriri said the ruling by the judge paved way for the election at the weekend.

“The judge has dismissed the application to interdict the holding the Zifa elections. What this means is that the elections will go ahead as scheduled on Saturday the 29th of March 2014,” said Uriri.

“Basically what happened is that the judge dealt first with the preliminary points that had been taken. Sadly, we were at the wrong end of the arguments in the preliminary points.

“He basically held that he will exercise his jurisdiction because there was a chance that the remedies that were available under the Zifa Constitution maybe inimical to the relief that was being sort.”

Uriri added: “So he exercised his jurisdiction and he found that the matter was urgent. He found that Mr Sangula had the legal standing to challenge the holding of the elections.

“He then found on the merits of the matter that Mr Sangula had waited until the day of reckoning.

“He had watched things unveil and the timing of the application crafts into doubt the bonafidity of the application itself and the election as we speak is about 99 percent complete in the sense that the elections for the other Zifa affiliates, who provide delegates for the actual elections, have already taken place.

“Therefore the applicant is best advised to consider his options once the elections have been held.”        

Sangula’s lawyer, Erick Matinenga, said although they were not in agreement with the judgment, his client would not appeal the ruling.

“If that aspect is going to be considered one would need to look at various issues and then decide on what has been done to see if it is worthwhile appealing against the matter,” said Matinenga.

“When one looks at matters of this nature, you don’t just appeal for the sake of it. You must look at a host of issues and that you don’t appeal does not mean you agree with the ruling but there are other overriding factors. Sometimes one says, ‘I will live to fight another day’.”

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.”

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

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

Meanwhile, the nomination court for the election is expected to sit today and vet the four candidates.

The court had delayed convening in order to wait for the outcome of Sangula’s court application.

Comments (1)

i hope we will have a new president, who has football at heart not this DUBE we had for the last 4years

thizer - 26 March 2014

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