Another drawback!

HARARE - Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) has called off elections for the Women’s Football (ZWF) scheduled for March 5, to allow formalisation of the ZWF League.

ZWF is one of the Zifa affiliates directed to hold fresh elections by the new board led by Philip Chiyangwa.

There have been protracted power wrangles among ZWF national executive members for some time after the five national executive members split into two camps.

One group comprises suspended Miriam Sibanda and two board members, Ben Mamoche and Edwin Magosvongwe.

The other group, which has the support of Zifa chief executive Jonathan Mashingaidze constitutes of acting chairperson Elizabeth Langa and her deputy Cecilia Gambe.

On Saturday, Theresa Maguraushe, women’s desk coordinator, had called for an unconstitutional” Extra Ordinary Meeting at the Zifa Village where they resolved to expel the whole board and hold fresh elections.

This was despite being stopped by the Zifa Constitutional Review Committee through a directive from Chiyangwa.

The Zifa president who had received a petition from the clubs under the women football league was forced to issue a statement yesterday where he revealed the elections have been postponed indefinitely.

Meanwhile, Zifa have set the record straight on the constitution regarding ZWF representation.

“There is no other body of women in football that enjoys Zifa’s membership except the sole and exclusive Zimbabwe Women Soccer League (“the league”). Any other body that claims an existence or a leadership cannot be recognised by Zifa if it is not the league,” reads a letter from Zifa.

“It is only members of Zifa that are listed in Article 10 that enjoy the rights provided in Article 12 particularly participation in the supreme and legislative bodies of Zifa, namely the assembly.

“For the avoidance of doubt the constitution specifically provides in Article 21(1)(u) as read with Article 21(4) that, the four female football delegates to the Zifa congress shall all be from the Zimbabwe Women league. This is exactly the sole member of Zifa established in Article 10.

“The 62 delegates to the Zifa Congress are all exclusively drawn from members of Zifa. What merely varies is the number a member can bring, with the league allowed four members.

“As a member of Zifa, the league further enjoys the right to appoint one female person for installation by the Congress into the Zifa executive committee in terms of Article 32(1) as read with Article 32(6) of the constitution. The same person also automatically becomes the chairperson of a standing committee of Zifa established as the Women’s Football Committee in terms of Article 41(1)(f) as read with Article 47 of the constitution.

“The Women’s Football Committee is responsible for organising women’s football competitions and deals with all matters relating to women’s football. It is the supreme and central body for women’s football and is only subordinate to the Zifa executive committee as a standing committee. It is distinct but related to the league in two ways: 1. Its chairperson is appointed by the league by virtue of the effect of Article 32(1) as read with Article 41(1)(f).

“2 Its deputy chairperson and three committee members are appointed by the Executive Committee on the proposal of the league or the President of Zifa as per Article 41(2).

“The constitution presupposes the existence of a legitimate, functional, orderly and sole league from which the appointment of a person to the executive committee for installation by congress  and the proposal for appointment into the Women’s Football Committee is made.

“In the event that there is any confusion or conflict on the status of the league, the Zifa president can lawfully propose to the Zifa executive committee the deputy chairperson and three members to constitute the Women’s Football Committee in terms of article 41(2) of the Zifa constitution.

“Whereas Article 41(2) when read in isolation gives the impression that the Zifa president can also propose to the executive committee the appointment of the Women’s Football Committee Article  32(1) as read with Article 47  precludes the president from appointing the chairperson of the Women’s Football Committee. In the worst scenario the lawfully appointed Deputy Chairperson of the Women’s Football Committee can at best be the acting Chairperson.”

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