SRC to act on Zifa

HARARE - The Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) will summon the Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) in light of this weekend’s cancelled Zifa Assembly.

The Zifa Assembly was supposed to have met today at the Zifa Village but the association’s CEO Jonathan Mashingaidze wrote to councillors on Monday cancelling the meeting.

While most councillors were prepared to fund their own participation at the Zifa Assembly, Mashingaidze cited a lack of funds at the association following recent international assignments by the Young Warriors and Mighty Warriors.

This was the second time this year the crucial meeting has been cancelled and is now worrying the SRC — as the government body responsible for sporting disciplines.

On Monday, the Women’s Assembly also met and resolved to suspend chairperson Miriam Sibanda together with Ben Mamuche and Edwin Magosvongwe.

There is discord in the women’s game after Sibanda refused to recognise the decision to suspend her and said the Monday meeting was unconstitutional.  

“One thing I know for sure is that a meeting is going to be called to get to the bottom of what is happening at Zifa,” SRC spokesperson Tiri Nheweyembwa told the Daily News yesterday.

“The SRC’s Directorate will have to meet with Zifa but there are a lot of stakeholders to be consulted before the meeting goes ahead.

“It is not only the SRC, who are not happy with what is going on at Zifa, even the ministry of Sports is not pleased. Minister Andrew Langa is on record on that regard.”

Nheweyembwa said for local football to reclaim its glory days, there was need for the association to obey the Zifa constitution.

“It is important for any sporting association to follow what is laid down in their own constitution. The sporting associations draft these constitutions, so why should they in turn go against what they have agreed to do?” asked Nheweyembwa.

The role of the Zifa councillors who make up the Zifa Assembly has also been questioned especially why they are silent while the game heads for the doldrums.

“The councillors are also to blame for this problem we have at Zifa because they are very passive,” said the SRC official.

“They need to be pro-active because they have the power to take the Zifa board to task before even the SRC gets involved.

“One then questions the role and motive of these councillors when they keep quiet when it’s clear that something is very wrong within Zifa.”

The SRC has been accused of being complacent and turning a blind eye when dealing with matters regarding Zifa.

Nheweyembwa, however, defended the supreme sports’ governing body saying they have done their best and cannot act impulsively to rectify the mess at 53 Livingstone Avenue.

“What you must remember is that the problems at Zifa did not start today but they have been there since the days of Leo Mugabe,” said Nheweyembwa.

“This shows that this is not an individual problem but an institutional problem. With Zifa it’s not just a case of changing the actors but the entire script must be changed as well.

“The entire system is dysfunctional and if we remove those in the office at the moment we will still have the same problems we are facing today.”

Nheweyembwa added: “Before we take any action according to the Act we need to first sit down with Zifa and all the stakeholders to get to the bottom of the problem.

“We are just stakeholders in football and we leave Zifa to run football. What we need is to have effective people running football so that we do not have such problems we are facing today.”

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