I'll defend myself: Banda

HARARE - Suspended Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) vice president Gift Banda will today address a press conference to clear his name regarding the current controversy in local football.

Banda was suspended by Zifa president Felton Kamambo last week after he was accused of usurping the powers of the board.

A week earlier, Banda had held a press conference in Harare in which he had announced changes to the Warriors and Under-23 technical teams.

Since then, it appears the Zifa board has been divided over the matter whilst Banda, who is also an MDC Member of National Assembly, has remained silent.   

“We are holding a press briefing tomorrow (today) at 11am in Bulawayo and it’s going to be explosive. You should not miss it because we are going to give our side of the story and reveal what has been happening behind the scenes,” one of Banda’s close associates told the Daily News yesterday.      

The new Zifa board led by Kamambo came into power on December 16, last year after toppling the previous executive of Philip Chiyangwa.

It did not take long though for fissures to start emerging in the board after Banda on January 8, announced the technical changes.

Warriors assistant coaches Rahman Gumbo and Lloyd Mutasa were all discarded according to the announcements made by Banda.

Coach Sunday Chidzambwa would remain at the helm of the national team but would now work with Tonderai Ndiraya and Bongani Mafu as his new assistants.

However, Kamambo overturned all these changes shortly after returning from Dakar, Senegal, where he had gone to attend the Confederation of African Football (Caf) Awards.

“…Banda illegally and unilaterally without authority of the board, unconstitutionally usurped the powers of the executive committee as enshrined in section 34 (k) of the Zifa constitution that delegate the sole responsibility of appointing national team coaches and other technical staff to the Zifa executive committee and not individuals,” Kamambo said.

“He illegally, unconstitutionally and against the Zifa Rules and Regulations (document 2, ‘regulations on the allocation of functions to standing committees Article 2.11)’ again without authority, usurped powers of the technical development standing committee whose role is to among other things recommend coaches, instructors and trainers to the executive committee thus bringing confusion, disorder and chaos to the smooth administration of our game.


“…Banda wilfully misrepresented, lied and misled the public, stakeholders and the world during his press statements that the Zifa executive committee made the decision to fire coaches and made new appointments fully knowing that to be untrue thus causing disaffection on the board, its councillors, the public, the national team, coaches and stakeholders.

“By so doing he brought our game and the association into disrepute at a time the association is busy cleansing itself of all ill manners and attempting to attract corporate sponsorship. His utterances were widely circulated in both mainstream and social media and attracted a backlash on the board on a decision it never reached.

“Through his actions of gross misconduct, he destabilised the team, lowered the morale at a time the team is just a game away from qualifying for the next Afcon edition and in so doing that would have negatively impacted on the preparations of the team and hence its ultimate performance.”

While Kamambo has given his side of the story, it now remains to be seen what Banda will reveal at his scheduled press conference. 


 

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