Chiyangwa breathes fire

HARARE - ZIFA president Phillip Chiyangwa yesterday came out guns blazing and launched a withering attack on the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) which he accused of meddling in the affairs of the country’s supreme football governing body.

The Zifa boss was miffed by a statement issued by the SRC at the weekend which ordered the national association to have held elections by end of March this year — including those for his position and the executive committee — an order he said was a clear violation of the Zifa constitution.

He accused the SRC of failing to comprehend the association’s constitution which sets out terms of the Zifa president and his executive committee.

“Article 38.1 of the Zifa constitution provides that: “The president shall be elected by the congress for a period of four years. His mandate shall begin after the end of the congress which has elected him. A president may be re-elected once.

“This provision is unequivocal, clear and unambiguous. A Zifa president once elected serves for a four (4) year period. The use of the word “shall” renders application of this section mandatory and obligatory. It cannot be tempered with under any circumstances whatsoever.

“There is no other provision of the constitution or electoral code which provides for the election of a Zifa president for a shorter period or under any other different circumstances whatsoever.

“Article 25.1 of the Zifa constitution is very clear that elections must be in accordance with the constitution and the Zifa electoral code. Article 25.6 of the Zifa constitution fully defers the provisions for the election of the president of Zifa to article 38,”said Chiyangwa of the Zifa constitution.

“The Zifa president can therefore be only elected in terms of article 38, and presently there is no vacancy or need for the election as the president’s four year term is at midpoint.

“There is no provision whatsoever for election of a Zifa president as a replacement for the remaining term mandate of a previous president. Article 32.9 of the Zifa constitution expressly excludes the position of the president from a replacement arrangement.

“The wording of article 32.2 is distinctly different from article 38.5. The office of an elected Zifa president is sui generis. It is uniquely important institutions which are strongly protected by the Zifa constitution.

“Therefore, there is no such thing as an election for the Zifa president in 2018 as the current president was elected purely in terms of clause 38.1 with no other conditions or limits set by the electoral committee, Fifa, Caf or Cosafa,” added Chiyangwa.

Chiyangwa and his executive committee were elected on a four-year mandate on December 5 2015 and are currently in third year of their four-year term.

Elections that are due are for Area Zones, Regions and provinces.

At the weekend SRC acting director general  Joseph Muchechetere directed Zifa to hold its elections by March in a move widely seen as being at odds with the local football governing body’s constitution which Chiyangwa articulated yesterday.

“The SRC has observed events at Zifa regarding the alleged failure to organise elections for its structures and we hereby wish to pronounce our position to the leadership of Zifa, its members, stakeholders and the public,” Muchechetere said in a statement.

“Firstly, we are in the process of engaging the leadership of Zifa to offer them advice on how to properly handle the electoral process for all Zifa structures in line with the Zifa constitution.

“Secondly, we wish to make it clear to Zifa or any other sport and recreation organisation that we expect them to operate within the confines of their respective constitutions, provisions of the SRC Act, which is the prevailing National Law on the Organisation and Administration of Sport in Zimbabwe.

“Thirdly, any deviation from the above requirements will be unacceptable and will not hesitate to step in and restore order. May you be guided accordingly,” added Muchechetere.

Chiyangwa was not happy with the SRC statement which he said was interference with the operations of the national football association.

“This interference is an extremely serious infraction to football statutes and equally violates the SRC Act which fully recognizes the Zifa constitution and Electoral Code to the extent the same are duly registered. Muchechetere does not have any power in the SRC, Zifa, Fifa, Caf and Cosafa statutes to unilaterally usurp the authority of the Zifa elected executive.”

“SRC statement manifests serious violation of the Zifa electoral code as to begin with premised on a wrong interpretation of the football statutes. More significantly the press statement was issued in violation of article 2 of the Zifa electoral code which provides that: Article 2 principles, obligations and rights of parties, government interference: The democratic principles of segregation of powers, transparency and publicizing of the electoral processes of Zifa must be observed without exception.

“Government interference of any kind in the electoral process or composition of the elective body (congress) of Zifa is not permitted. Consequently, government rules on elections shall not apply to the elected internal organs of Zifa and the electoral rules of Zifa shall not require the approval of any government organ.

“Furthermore: Zifa shall adopt and approve the electoral rules of its elected internal bodies in accordance with this code and pertinent Fifa regulations; at the very least, the Zifa Electoral Code as well as any electoral code of the affiliates of Zifa shall include the following information: the number of affiliates and elections, if appropriate, of the congress; deadlines, requirements, regulations and the announcement of the final lists of candidates; the voting procedure, ballot papers, urns, polling booths and the announcement of the results; verification of the procedure and appeals,” said Chiyangwa.

In explaining the process Chiyangwa said Zifa should inform Fifa and Caf of the commencement of the elections to its elected internal bodies, the announcement of the elections and its electoral rules at one month’s notice.

It should likewise inform Fifa and Caf of the duration of the elections and of the mandates.

If there was government interference, Chiyangwa said Zifa was obliged to immediately inform Fifa and Caf of any interference in the electoral process.

“Unless this code states otherwise, the elected internal bodies of Zifa shall continue to exercise their functions until the completion of the electoral process.

“In terms of clause 2.2 (b) above, Zifa is under strict obligation to report to Fifa, Caf, and Cosafa on the gross and illegal interference by government through Muchechetere. By copy of this letter Fifa, Caf, and Cosafa are notified of the interference,” Chiyangwa said.

The Harare business tycoon said SRC chairperson Edward Siwela and Muchechetere were culpable in the rot which sat at Zifa before he was elected into office.

During that period, charged Chiyangwa Zifa was being choked by a debt which mysteriously ballooned from about $500 000 to more than $7 million within a short space of time under the previous leadership of Cuthbert Dube.

“While the Zifa executive committee is fully focused on achieving a turnaround Messrs Muchechetere and Siwela seem to have sworn themselves to besmirch the excellent work of the executive committee.

“Siwela has chosen to communicate with Zifa through the press where he has made completely baseless and defamatory remarks to the Zifa executive committee. Muchechetere has on the other hand developed a penchant for jumping the gun and intervening in matters within Zifa affiliates in the directive purview of Zifa,” said Chiyangwa.

“Siwela and Muchechetere are strongly cautioned to cease forthwith interfering with matters within the exclusive authority of Zifa.

“The two gentlemen do not hold any elected football office and must not bring sanctions on the whole nation due to their insatiable craving for control and abuse of office.

“Any decision they purport to make on behalf of the SRC must be formally addressed to the Zifa secretariat and duly accompanied with the relevant resolutions to enable Zifa to exercise its powers of appeal in terms of section 32 of the SRC Act,” he added.

Comments (1)

So when when government funds Zifa it is not interfeering right?

Meso - 12 February 2018

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.