Zifa legal woes mount

HARARE - Financially hamstrung Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) has been dragged to court by suspended board member Bernard Gwarada over an outstanding $90 000 debt.

Gwarada, who was suspended together with vice president Omega Sibanda and 12 councillors last month, through his company Led Travel and Tours (Private) Limited (Led) filed a High Court application seeking a provisional order for the payment of $90 306, 04.

In 2013, Led borrowed the money from two banks on behalf of the football association to finance the Warriors’ Fifa 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign.

The loans were 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.

But the Zifa Trust has not been functioning since the Warriors completed the disastrous 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign.

Zimbabwe finished bottom of the table, with just two points, after losing four of their six matches and failing to win a single match.

According to a copy of an acknowledgement of debt attached to the High Court application, Zifa was supposed to start repaying the money by the end of January this year.

The acknowledgement of debt dated December 15, 2014, was addressed to Gwarada by Zifa chief executive officer Jonathan Mashingaidze.

“The Zimbabwe Football Association wishes to acknowledge the above debt made up as follows, $32 118, 96 owed to Led Travel and Tours for facility offered to the company by FBC Bank on behalf of the Zimbabwe Football Association,” reads the notice.

“$58 187, 08 owed to Led Travel and Tours for facility offered to the company by BancABC on behalf of the Zimbabwe Football Association.”

In their High Court application, Led through their lawyers Nyakutombwa, Mugabe Legal Counsel said: “In terms of the said document an amount of $90 306, 04 was acknowledged as being due and owing to the plaintiff (Led) by the said defendant (Zifa).

“You are called upon to satisfy the plaintiff’s claim immediately, by paying the amount claimed to the Sheriff of Zimbabwe or to the plaintiff’s legal representatives, Messrs Nyakutombwa, Mugabe Legal Counsel.”

The matter will be heard tomorrow before a High Court judge.

Earlier this year, bailiffs sent by the two banks visited the Led offices in the capital intending to attach a number of movable assets.

Gwarada had to enter into payment agreements with the two financial institutions in order to save his property from going under the hammer.

The transactions with the two banks were struck before Gwarada was voted onto the Zifa board in March 2014.

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