Zifa finally charge trio

HARARE - The Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) has finally charged the trio of vice-president Omega Sibanda, board members Bernard Gwarada and Miriam Sibanda months after their suspension. 

Women’s football boss Miriam Sibanda was the first to be suspended back in April this year while Omega Sibanda and Gwarada later followed on June 16.

The three were served with their charge sheets on June 29, after their cases caused anger among councillors during last month’s combined Zifa Annual General Meeting and Extraordinary General Meeting.   

Most councillors sought for the trio’s suspensions to be lifted since Zifa had delayed in charging and bringing them before the Disciplinary Committee.

However, Fifa development officer for Southern Africa Ashford Mamelodi said the councillors needed to follow due process since the trio’s case was handed over to the Disciplinary Committee.

It is soon after this meeting that Zifa CEO Jonathan Mashingaidze hastily dispatched the charge sheets against the trio.

“The Zimbabwe Football Association hereby requests you to respond to misconduct charges being levelled against you for contravening the 2015 Rules and Regulations,” Mashingaidze wrote.

“The facts upon which the allegations are based are fully stated in the charge sheet and case outline whose copies are hereto attached.

“By copy of this letter and in terms of Zifa Rules and Regulations, you are being requested to respond to the charges within seven days either admitting or denying the allegations.

“Where you are denying the allegations, a date for a disciplinary hearing will be advised to you accordingly.”

The main charges against Omega Sibanda and Gwarada are that they are perceived to have been the ring leaders of the May 16 Zifa Assembly meeting that had resolved to kick out president Cuthbert Dube and board members Tavengwa Hara and Fungai Chihuri.

Fifa reversed the decision to boot out Dube but maintained the grievances raised by the councillors during the meeting should be accommodated at the next Zifa AGM. 

Omega Sibanda and Gwarada are also accused of leaking confidential Zifa board meetings to the media and holding clandestine meetings to try and topple Dube.  

As for Miriam Sibanda, her main charge is that she wrote letters to Fifa and the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) inquiring about the funds which were supposed to be channelled to women’s football but had not reached her office.

The women’s football boss, who had a public fallout with Mashingaidze, is also accused of among other things failing to follow Zifa protocol and establishing a parallel women’s football structures.

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