Zifa polls spill into court

HARARE - Next month's Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) board elections are now in danger of being postponed after former sports journalist Hope Chizuzu yesterday filed a High Court urgent chamber application to halt the process.

Chizuzu intended to run for a position on the board but is now contesting the composition of the Zifa Electoral Committee in the courts.

In his application filed under case number HC 11246/15, Chizuzu is seeking for an interdict to stop the December 5 elections set to bring in a new football leadership to replace the Cuthbert Dube-led board which had its mandate revoked in October.

The former scribe decided to take this route after writing to Zifa CEO Jonathan Mashingaidze last week but getting no joy.

"Applicant is intending to be a candidate in the Zimbabwe Football Association elections scheduled to be held on the 5th of December 2015," reads Chizuzu's affidavit.

"On the 5th of November 2015, Applicant when doing his research on the process in which he would necessarily need to be involved discovered that the composition of the elective body to conduct the said elections was flawed in that nearly all of the members of the body were not qualified to hold the office. After purchasing the nomination papers, he refused to associate himself with the flawed process.

"Pursuant to that, on the 13th of November 2015, Applicant addressed complaint to the Respondent's Chief executive Officer for urgent redress of this anomaly in the hope that the issue would be rectified.

"Respondent caused publication of its negative response in a local paper instead of serving same on Applicant.

"Accordingly, Applicant having just been advised that he will get no redress in the newspapers published on the 15th and 16th November 2015 and realising that there is no other adequate alternative remedy against the Respondent other than this Urgent Chamber Application.

"In the premises, Applicant is seeking an order interdicting the holding of any polls for Zifa under current electoral committee, pending rectifying of the composition of the same."

The High Court Registrar will now allocate a judge to hear the matter in his/her chambers urgently before the December 5 date.

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.    

Mashingaidze, however, claims the electoral committee is properly constituted and Chizuzu does not have a case.

"The Association would like to bring to your attention that the constitutionality of the Zifa Electoral Committee has never been an issue with bona fide members of Zifa. The members of Zifa ratified the installation of the Zifa Electoral Committee on 28th September 2013," wrote Mashingaidze in a letter addressed to Chizuzu.

"The Association is committed to observing the Zifa Statutes to the letter. At no point will Zifa allow for the rights of the family of football mortgaged by selfishness and callous greed.

"The family of football is preparing for the landmark by-elections, as such we implore observers and or groups outside of the family of football to respect the rights of the members of football."

Four candidates; Philip Chiyangwa, Leslie Gwindi, Trevor Carelse-Juul and James Takavada are vying for the post of president after they were cleared by the electoral committee.

Omega Sibanda and Lincoln Mutasa are the two candidates gunning for the post of vice president.

Ten candidates; Wilfred Mukuna, Edzai Kasinauyo, Musa Mandaza, Piraishe Mabhena, Felton Kamambo, Beadle Gwasira, Joseph Musariri, Jackson Munyaka, Lewis Uriri and Philemon Machana are in the race for the four board positions.

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