Zifa board member under siege

HARARE - Zifa’s crippling debt crisis continued to wreak havoc yesterday after the Deputy Sheriff attached property belonging to a company owned by board member for finance, Benard Gwarada.

The court bailiffs attached a 30-seater mini-bus, office chairs and desks from Gwarada’s business premises in Eastlea over a $27 000 debt owed to FBC Bank relating to the Warriors’ 2014 World Cup qualifier away to Egypt.

The Deputy Sheriff threatened to return to the Led Travel premises today to attach more vehicles to settle the debt owed to the financial institution.

The loan was acquired from FBC Bank to cover the cost of the air tickets, with the Zifa Trust underwriting the transaction and the chairman of the Trust, Tshinga Dube, providing the security.

The Zifa Trust has not been operational since the Warriors completed that disastrous 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign in which they finished bottom of the table, with just two points to their credit, after losing four of their six matches and failing to win a single match.

Contacted for commented, Gwarada, who was not yet a board member when the deal was struck, said he was attending some business in Victoria Falls and would only comment once he has returned to Harare.

Dube, however, told the Daily News that he regrets ever partnering Zifa and was feeling pity for Gwarada, who is now being persecuted for his Good Samaritan nature. 

“It is very unfortunate that Mr Gwarada has found himself in all this mess,” Dube said.

“Mr Gwarada actually sacrificed for a national cause but this is what he gets in return. It’s very unfortunate because people will not be forthcoming in trying times again in the future. It seems Gwarada is now paying the price for helping his country.” 

The Zanu PF Central Committee member, who is also the Zimbabwe Defence Industries managing director, blasted Zifa CEO Jonathan Mashingaidze for his role in this debacle that has left Gwarada’s business in a spot of bother.

“Zifa, through (Jonathan) Mashingaidze misled the Zifa Trust board to help them secure the loan on the basis that they would repay in time. As the Trust, we had to persuade Mr Gwarada to help us facilitate the tickets,” said Dube.

“This put everything at stake including his reputation. Zifa should put their house in order because it’s now implicating some innocent people. It is in situations like these where I regret to ever have gone to bed with Zifa.”

Zifa are currently battling to settle a ballooning $6 million debt that has left the association in tatters.

Last week, the deputy Sheriff left the Zifa Village resembling a shell after attaching almost all of the property from the Mt Hampden-based facility.

The raid was in connection with the $100 000 owed to former Zifa communications manager Nicky Dhlamini-Moyo, who was sacked under unclear circumstances in 2012.  

Earlier this month, the court bailiffs also raided Cuthbert Dube’s house to attach a fleet of luxury vehicles in connection with a $281 985 debt owed to Pandhari Lodge.

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