Bid to stop Zifa polls

HARARE  - A Harare man is seeking to have next month’s Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) board elections stopped on the basis that the Zifa Electoral Committee is not properly constituted.

Hope Chizuzu, a former sports journalist, has written to Zifa chief executive Jonathan Mashingaidze raising his concerns.

The letter was also copied to Sports minister Makhosini Hlongwane, the Sports and Recreation Commission and Fifa development officer for southern Africa Ashford Mamelodi.  

The Zifa Electoral Committee is made up of retired Labour Court judge Sello Nare, Tendai Madzorera a former Zifa vice president; Elizabeth Banda, a sports administrator; Musekiwa Mbanje a former prosecutor, Tichawana Nyahuma, a legal practitioner; Charles Sibanda, member of the Zifa High Performance Technical Committee and lawyer TK Hove.

Mashingaidze, Cornelius Bwanya, Passious Masunda and Ralph Maganga are ex-officio members of the committee.

“Article 3 of the Code clearly states that only members of Zifa shall constitute the Electoral Committee. Article 10 of the constitution itself does describe who the members of the Zifa are. These are fully admitted affiliates of Zifa as listed therein,” reads the letter.

“It cannot be said with any seriousness that the Committee of Messers Tendai Madzorera, retired Labour Court Judge Hon. Sello Nare, Musekiwa Mbanje, TK Hove, Tichawana Nyahuma, Ralph Maganga and Madam Elizabeth Banda are members of Zifa as defined by the constitution and were installed by the Zifa congress.

“This is more so when one reads Article 3(3) together with Article 5 (6). Even assuming the congress did indeed install them such an installation would be wrong and unconstitutional as that power is not there in the governing documents.

“The whole process is therefore tainted with illegality and should be stopped forthwith.”  

Chizuzu added: “I make that point Elizabeth Banda being an employee of government is prohibited by the Code from being a member of the committee and Messers Masunda and Bwanya have been in that committee for more than two terms which is against the code, which limits the term of the committee or any member therefore to two terms.

“I’m afraid that the process is susceptible to legal challenge by any losing candidate and should that happen we would have wasted time and resources on an exercise that we knew to be illegal.”

Chizuzu has given Zifa until Monday to stop the elections and if that is not the case he will launch a High Court application.

He is basing his application on the fact that in 2014 High Court judge Justice Francis Bere made a ruling that the Zifa Electoral Committee was not properly constituted.

ZPC Kariba’s Said Sangula had tried to stop the elections that were eventually won by former president Cuthbert Dube.

Justice Bere allowed the elections to go ahead only on a technicality because Sangula had made his court application at the 11th hour after the same electoral committee presided over the elections from the area zones.

“You will recall (Saidi) Sangula challenged this process in 2014 and I’m prepared to challenge it again if it becomes necessary so that we observe our own rules,” said Chizuzu.

“I believe you have it in you to make the honourable decision to stop the process before it becomes too late and comply with the constitution.” 

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