Zifa battles to save bus

HARARE - Zifa is battling to save a state-of-the-art luxury bus it received from the South African Football Association (Safa) from being attached by the Sherriff of the High Court.

After the 2010 World Cup, Safa received 18 Hyundai luxury coaches from the Local Organising Committee (Loc) and in 2014, they donated some of the fleet to their neighbouring countries.

The likes of Malawi, Swaziland and Botswana took delivery of the coaches in 2015 while the one meant for Zimbabwe had remained behind in South Africa.

The bus finally arrived in the country last month but was attached by the bailiffs in connection to Zifa’s outstanding $161 000 debt owed to Daisy Lodge.

Initially, the bailiffs had served papers at the abandoned Zifa offices in the CBD before they located the bus at Zifa president Philip Chiyangwa’s offices in Highlands, where the association secretariat is operating from.

On May 30, Chinyama and Partners Legal Practitioners, who are representing Daisy Lodge in the matter, wrote to the Sheriff.

“We make reference to a copy of writ which was executed on by the Sheriff at 53 Livingston Avenue on the 5th day of May 2017 and advise as follows,” the lawyers wrote.

“Please kindly proceed to number 160 Enterprise Road, Harare where you will find a parked Zifa bus at the address of its current president.”

The High Court bailiffs went to Chiyangwa’s offices last week and were able to attach the luxury coach.

However, when they returned on Monday to remove the bus, it was nowhere to be seen with Zifa claiming it belongs to Safa and not the association.

Zifa spokesperson Xolisani Gwesela referred all questions to Chiyangwa, who was not reachable for comment.  

Safa confirmed to the Daily News that they had donated the bus to Zifa as part of their assistance programme to fellow member associations.

“The bus officially belongs to Safa. It was given to Zifa a couple of weeks back as part of a number of cooperation assistance Safa is giving to Zifa in particular and members of the Cosafa Region,” Safa spokesperson Dominic Chimhavi told the Daily News.

“There are a number of cooperation assistance Safa is giving to Zifa with the knowledge that our Zim counterparts don’t own any assets. This cooperation assistance includes exchange programmes, financial assistance, sponsorship partnerships and any other assistance Zifa might require from Safa.

“There is a huge bond between South Africa and Zimbabwe and this can be evidenced within the political, cultural and sporting spheres and we believe that a strong Zimbabwe in football spheres will help in having a strong Cosafa region.

“I will repeat again, the bus belongs to Safa not Zifa and soon we will be giving Zifa more vehicles for their convenient use but the property will remain Safa property.”

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