Zifa saga takes new twist

HARARE - Zifa has branded former sports journalist — Hope Chizuzu — a liar who is seeking to gain revenge for being banned following his involvement in a match-fixing scam in which the Zimbabwe senior soccer team threw away matches in the Far East.

In a scathing response to Chizuzu’s application which seeks to stop the December 5, elections from being held on the grounds that the Zifa Electoral Committee is improperly constituted, Zifa chief executive officer Jonathan Mashingaidze — urged the High Court to throw away the suit.

Mashingaidze said Chizuzu was approaching the court with dirty hands and should have disclosed his ban after he was found to have participated in the fixing of the matches in the Far East in a scam which became known as Asiagate.

“I am advised that any litigant who brings a matter to court, particularly under purportedly urgent circumstances ought to come to court with clean hands in the sense that he must be completely bona fide and must have made all material disclosures to the court,” said Mashingaidze who is being advised by Harare attorneys, Mutamangira & Associates.

“The Applicant has failed in this regard as he has not made all material disclosures in his application. The Applicant conveniently omitted to mention that he has been barred from the Respondent in 2012 for inappropriately interfering with football activities which are the exclusive purview of the Zifa Officials as outlined in the Zifa Constitution.

“In brief circumstances leading to the ban are that the Applicant attended a national football match outside the country in his capacity as a journalist but ended up attempting to assume a coaching role by improperly issuing out instructions to the players.

“His conduct was deemed highly unbecoming and although he was not a member, he was banned from all Zifa activities. An extract from the Ebrahim Commission “Asiagate Report” 2012 proving the Applicant’s ten-year ban is attached hereto as Annexure “A”.

Mashingaidze said the ban is still operative and it has become apparent that Chizuzu’s application is a manifestation of spite and an attempt to seek revenge for the incident in 2012.

He said his non-disclosure of the fact of the ban is clear evidence that he is mala fide and dishonest in bringing his application and the application ought to fail on the basis of that no-disclosure.

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.

“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.”

But Mashingaidze said Chizuzu conspicuously omitted to mention that in 2014, he was a party to a similar application that was filed by Saidi Sangula, under case number HC.2123/14.

“Applicant appeared in person in the court proceedings in that case and was at all material times part and parcel of the application. The application concerned similar subject matter to this present application as it sought to interdict the holding of pending elections then on the basis of alleged improper constitution of the electoral committee,” charged the Zifa boss.

“This application was dismissed by the Honourable Justice Mr Bere. What is further astounding is that the same Saidi Sangula is a part and parcel of the present application as shown by the Applicant’s Annexure A3 on page 48 attached to the Application. Annexure A3 is an email from this Saidi Sangula which Applicant attached as evidence of his having made an enquiry to the Respondent’s Chief Executive Officer.”

Mashingaidze said Chizuzu had no locus Standi to challenge the electoral committee arguing that he no longer has standing to associate himself with affairs of the Respondent as he is no longer a member of the respondent.

“The respondents constitution attached to Applicants papers as Annexure A 1 is very clear on the legal status of the Respondent in that it states:

“Zifa is a private organisation of an associative nature, in compliance with the legislation of Zimbabwe. It is formed for an unlimited period”

“Applicant is under the mistaken belief that the Respondent is a public organisation which is freely open to all and sundry. The private and associative nature of the Applicant strictly restricts participation in the affairs of the Respondent to members of the Respondent and those who associate with the Respondent on legally permissible terms as set by the Respondent.

“Applicant lacks locus standi to institute proceedings relating to the internal elections of the Respondent as he is not a member of the Respondent and is not associated with the Respondent in any manner whatsoever. A copy of Zifa’s list of Assembly members, Board members and honorary members is attached hereto as Annexure “B”.

“In his application Applicant fails to provide the specific details of his membership or association with the Respondent, any of the Respondent’s, members and or any of the Respondent’s affiliates,” argued Mashingaidze.

He further argued that the High Court has no jurisdiction to entertain the matter as all domestic remedies have not been exhausted.

“The provisions of the Constitution of the Respondent attached to the Applicant’s own papers are very clear and spell out in clear terms the manner of resolving internal disputes within ZIFA and none of them include recourse to the courts.

“Article 4.3 of the Respondent’s Constitution states that:

“Zifa shall provide the necessary institutional means to resolve any internal dispute that may arise between Members, Clubs, Officials and Players of Zifa”

Zifa holds elections to replace and his incompetent board on December 5.

Maverick Harare businessman Philip Chiyangwa who claims to be leading the race, will battle it out with Leslie Gwindi, James Takavada and Trevor Carelse-Juul to succeed Dube.

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.