Fifa engages local law firm

HARARE - World  football governing body Fifa has engaged a local firm – Dube, Manikai and Hwacha (DMH) to administer funds to help financially troubled Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) clear its debts.

This comes amid revelations that the Zurich-based organisation’s representatives, Ashford Mamelodi and Zelkifli Ngoufonja, who were in Harare last week, met seven of the association’s key creditors to discuss modalities of expunging the debts.

Zifa is currently battling to serving a ballooning debt which has already passed the $6 million mark.

Mamelodi, who is the Southern Africa development manager, and Ngoufonja, the Africa development manager based in Zurich, held a number of meetings during their week-long stay in the capital.   

“When the Fifa guys were in town last week, they looked at a consortium of law firms and eventually settled for DMH, whom they will work with in retiring the Zifa debt,” said a source close to the subject.

“While there is a tentative agreement (on the partnership), we understand that the parties are working or fine tuning the working arrangement.”

DMH are one of the leading law firms when it comes to commercial services.

According to their website, DMH are “a leading global law firm which provides cutting edge legal services to the corporate world”.  

The Daily News understands the two Fifa officials met with representatives from local bank CBZ where Zifa has an overdraft of $1.5 million.

The duo also held meetings with members of the Ebrahim Committee, who are currently suing Zifa for almost $600 000 for the services they rendered during the Asiagate disciplinary hearings.

The Fifa blazers also held discussions with officials from Cresta Hospitality, Pandhari Lodge, and members of the Centralgate Committee.

At the end of their visit, Ngoufonja said: “The association is at a situation where they really do not have the finances to repay all these things. From what I understand now, the chunk of the debt is credited to the national team.

“This is huge and that’s why we very much encourage the state to work together with the association, they cannot do it alone.

“Some of the debt was accrued by some people who are no longer there but they did it in the name of the association. Now we understand better. We have been in discussions with the creditors on how best we can forgive and move on.

“At the end of the day it is really Zimbabwean football that is in danger so how do we prevent the worst from happening?”

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