Elections will go ahead: Zifa

HARARE - The Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) insists next month’s board polls will go ahead despite an impending court challenge querying the composition of the Zifa Electoral Committee.

Last Friday, journalist Hope Chizuzu, who intended to run in the elections to be held on December 5, wrote to Zifa chief executive Jonathan Mashingaidze to stop the polls.

Chizuzu claims most members of the committee are not members of Zifa which is a violation of the football mother body’s constitution.

If Zifa does not stop the elections and make proper appointments into the electoral committee, Chizuzu said he will not hesitate to approach the High Court.

However, Zifa legal advisor Ralph Maganga insists that there is no way the elections can be stopped.

“I received the letter from the Zifa office last Friday but I failed to open it on my computer so I have not read it yet. I’m not aware of it contents yet,” the Harare lawyer told the Daily News yesterday.

“But from the little information I have, Chizuzu does not have a legal capacity to make a court application.

“Only Zifa members and the aspiring candidates that submitted their nominations have the locus standi to make such a court application.

“It’s premature yet to give a comprehensive response but there are a lot of issues that need to be looked at.

“Maybe if Chizuzu had made his submission to the electoral committee and was disqualified then he would have had the legal capacity to challenge in court.”

In his letter, Chizuzu claims: “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.

“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.

“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.

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

So far the Zifa Electoral Committee has cleared Leslie Gwindi, Philip Chiyangwa, Trevor Carelse-Juul and James Takavada to stand for the presidential election.

Only two candidates, Omega Sibanda and Lincoln Mutasa will run for the post of vice-president while 10 candidates were cleared to contest for four posts available in the board.

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