Zifa elections: Chiyangwa to run unopposed

HARARE - In an unusual and surprising development, the Zifa Electoral Committee yesterday revealed that there were no challengers for Zifa president Philip Chiyangwa and his deputy Omega Sibanda.

The Zifa board elections are set to be held in the capital on December 1 but in a perplexing development, Chiyangwa and Sibanda will retain their posts unopposed.

“The Zimbabwe Football Association Electoral Committee met on 2 November to verify credentials of candidates who submitted nomination forms for positions in the executive committee,” the committee’s chairperson Vusi Vuma said in a statement late yesterday afternoon.

“The following candidates were successfully nominated to stand in the elections slated for 1 December 2018,” Vuma said.

“For those disqualified, reasons for disqualification will be communicated directly to the concerned individuals.”

There are, however, six candidates vying for the four available posts in the executive committee.

Current Zifa treasurer Philimon Machana will battle it out with sportscaster Barry Manandi, Zifa Central Region chairperson Stanley Chapeta and Zimbabwe Diamond Mining Company official Sugar Chagonda.

Affirmative Action Group president Chamu Chiwanza and Southern Region board member Brighton Malandule are the other candidates vying for a place in the Zifa executive committee.

However, it is the confirmation of Chiyangwa and Sibanda’s candidature without any opponents for the December 1 poll which will likely attract an outcry from the football circles.

This means Chiyangwa and Sibanda have effectively been retained in their positions with the December 1 poll now only left to confirm their new four-year mandate.

Former Zifa board member Felton Kamambo had expressed an interest in challenging Chiyangwa for the local football top job.

But it appears he failed to meet the criteria set out by the Zifa Electoral Committee.

“Zifa regrets to inform you of the decision of the Zifa Electoral Committee of disqualifying you from participating in the 2018 Zifa ...elections,” Zifa chief executive officer Joseph Mamutse wrote to Kamambo yesterday.

“The committee noted that; you were improperly nominated, you are currently suspended by the Association and you did not pass the integrity test.” 

After resigning from his Zifa post in April, the association later wrote to Kamambo advising him that he had been suspended after allegations of sexual harassment of Mighty Warriors players and plotting to overthrow the current Zifa leadership.

In recent weeks, the Midlands-based football administrator had battled with the Zifa secretariat as he tried to secure nomination papers.

“I think there is a deliberate effort to block candidates from accessing the nomination papers because the nominations were opened on the 16th (October) and closing on the 30th (October),” Kamambo told the Daily News soon after he was denied nominations papers at the Zifa offices in Highlands last month.

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