Zifa offices' saga rages on

HARARE – Zifa provincial chairpersons have lauded president Philip Chiyangwa’s decision for the association to abandon its headquarters at 53 Livingstone Avenue in Harare and move to his personal property saying it was a “necessary measure which was meant to bring tranquillity to the cash-strapped organisation”.

The Zifa headquarters has been under lock and key since last year while the association has been operating from Chiyangwa’s business premises in Chisipiti.

In a written report to the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission, former Zifa accountant Fabion Vanganayi alleges that Chiyangwa is making a killing from the transaction since Zifa is paying him a hefty rental fee.

The ex-Zifa employee alleged that Chiyangwa charges the association approximately $10 000 per month to occupy his offices.

This he claims goes against good corporate governance since Chiyangwa is the association’s president.

But speaking at a press conference in which 10 Zifa provincial chairpersons endorsed Chiyangwa’s candidature for next March’s elections, Mashonaland Central chief Gilbert Saika said nothing was amiss in the real estate agreement between the association and the Harare businessman.

“As you are aware when Chiyangwa got into office there was this problem of creditors and it was for the benefit of our football to find a solution,” Saika said.

“Creditors were after Zifa and if we had stayed at 53 Livingston, the association was going to be brought down. That’s why we came here. We were given the premises by Chiyangwa so that we can operate from here.”

Zifa is currently hamstrung by a $7 million debt that dates way back to the tenure of former Cuthbert Dube’s reign.

Saika denied that the association was paying a bloated monthly rental fee to Chiyangwa.

“The issue of inflated rates is neither here nor there; it’s only hearsay. I don’t think all these people were there when the contract to use these premises were signed,” he said.

“I think the accounts papers are there and it will soon be published for the benefit of the public after the audit reports are presented at next year’s AGM.”

The Zifa councillors threw their weight behind Chiyangwa to run for next year’s Zifa elections.

Zifa is scheduled to hold an elective annual general meeting before March 31 next year and the chairpersons vowed to vote for incumbent Chiyangwa.