Zifa saga to return to Parly

HARARE - The Zifa debate is expected to dominate Parliament again when Sports minister Andrew Langa appears before the Sports, Arts and Culture parliamentary portfolio committee on Thursday.

Langa and his deputy Tabitha Kanengoni-Malinga will give oral evidence to the committee on the state of sports in the country.

Kanengoni-Malinga, three weeks ago told legislators that government was ‘‘fed up’’ with the way Zifa president Cuthbert Dube was running the association.

She said government was even prepared to face the full wrath of world football governing body Fifa sanctions after sacking Dube and his entire executive.

However, Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa told Parliament that government had no right to interfere in the running of football affairs in the country.

“Fifa policy is that as government we should not interfere in football and it is government policy. We have no jurisdiction over Zifa because some of the employees are not under the ministry of Sports but they are under Fifa,” said Chinamasa.

Fifa also warned the Zimbabwe government against such a move and made it clear that booting out Dube would warrant an automatic suspension of the country.

MPs from across the political divide have developed a keen interest in the goings-on at Zifa evidenced by the questions they have been fielding in Parliament to the relevant minister over football matters.

Since the saga broke out, Langa has been silent on the matter and his appearance before the Temba Mliswa-chaired committee on Thursday will give him an opportunity to address the matter.

Government tasked the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) to investigate Zifa.

The SRC compiled a report which was handed to Langa’s ministry and the Insiza North MP is likely to divulge contents of that report before the parliamentary portfolio committee. 

While most of the vitriol has been directed at Dube, what has since emerged is that most of the Zifa board members are not pleased with the conduct of chief executive officer Jonathan Mashingaidze.

Mashingaidze’s name has featured prominently in the discussions with most of Zifa’s shortcomings being placed squarely at his door.

The other burning topic likely to hog the limelight in Langa’s appearance is the issues regarding the 2014 African Union Sports Commission (AUSC) Region 5 Youth Games hosted in Bulawayo.

Most of the volunteers and service providers for the games are yet to be paid with Langa promising that the government would act soon.

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