Zifa elections saga

HARARE - The Zifa Appeals Committee has rejected appeals made by Felton Kamambo and Gift Banda, who were seeking permission to participate in next month’s Zifa executive committee elections.

Kamambo had hoped to challenge incumbent Zifa president Philip Chiyangwa in the polls to be held on December 1. Banda on the other hand wanted to challenge Zifa vice president Omega Sibanda.

The duo was disqualified by the Zifa Electoral Committee on November 2 due to a number of irregularities with their nomination papers.

Kamambo and Banda then approached the Zifa Appeals Committee challenging the decision of the Electoral Committee.

The Zifa Appeals Committee comprising the chairperson Tafadzwa Mazonde, Herbert Mutasa and Tonderai Choga deliberated on the two appeals before handing out their judgments yesterday.

In Kamambo’s case, the committee ruled that the Kwekwe-based football administrator was improperly nominated.

His nomination paper was signed by Sweeny Mushonga on behalf of Zifa Northern Region, Moses Chikoti on behalf of Zifa Highfield Area Zone and an individual whose name was only stated as Alois on behalf of the Premier Soccer League (PSL).

“It is common cause, (or ought be accepted as such) that the PSL is not a member of Zifa, at least going by the definition of ‘member’ as espoused in Article 10 of the constitution,” the committee said.

“There can be no doubt that the Appellant (Kamambo) was alive to the fact it was a condition of his successful candidature that his name must be proposed by three nominators. In any event, he does not challenge that requirement.

“I am satisfied that Electoral Committee was correct in reaching the conclusion that the Appellant had not been properly nominated. For this reason, this ground of appeal ought to fail.

“We accordingly order as follows; The Appellant was improperly nominated. The appeal is accordingly dismissed.”

The other grounds of Kamambo’s appeal were that the Electoral Committee disqualified him because he had failed an integrity test conducted by the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) and he had also been suspended by the Zifa executive committee.

Mazonde’s committee upheld these two grounds for Kamambo’s appeal.

However, in order for Kamambo’s appeal to have been successful, it needed to be upheld on all the three grounds he was contesting.

Coming to Banda’s appeal, the former Njube Sundowns official was contesting on five grounds.

On the first ground, Mazonde’s committee noted that Banda was properly nominated after his name was proposed by Mushonga, Robert Tembo on behalf of Zifa Harare Province and PSL’s Alois Masepe (Harare City).

“The Electoral Committee invalidated the Appellant’s nomination on the basis that PSL not being a member of Zifa, the nomination by...Masepe is a fatal irregularity. We were unable to find any basis for the requirement that for position of vice-president, the aspiring candidate must be nominated by member of Zifa only,” the committee said in their judgment.

“The constitution of Zifa and the Electoral code certainly do not carry that requirement. On that basis, the Committee is satisfied that Electoral Committee was wrong in reaching the conclusion that the Appellant had not been properly nominated.”

On whether Banda had served his rehabilitation period following his involvement in the Centralgate match-fixing scandal, the Appeals Committee ruled that:

“The Appellant contends that he is being ill treated by being required to serve a rehabilitation that other have not served. Overally Appellant seeks to have his disqualification on the basis that the rules are being selectively applied,” reads the judgment.

“The fact of the matter is that the Appellant was convicted of some serious misconduct by a Tribunal set up to adjudicate on what became to be known as ‘Centralgate’.

“Pursuant thereto, the Tribunal ordered that the Appellant be placed under rehabilitation for a period of five years. From the record placed before the committee, it is not clear how that rehabilitation takes place.

“However, assuming that the Appellant commenced the rehabilitation immediately after the order, he is expected to complete the same on December 8, 2018.

“From the record, the Appeals Committee finds no reason to interfere with the resolution of the Electoral Committee.”

The Mazonde committee also ruled that Banda’s claim that his ban needed confirmation by the Zifa congress was not correct.

Banda had also raised allegations of conflict of interest in the members of the Electoral Committee but he failed to give enough evidence in his appeal resulting in that ground dismissed.


 

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