Sikhumbuzo MoyoSenior, Sports Reporter
THE Zifa executive committee members were not voted into office to complete the ousted regime’s terms hence the reason they all paid full four-year-term fees.
Speaking to Chronicle Sport in an unsolicited interview yesterday, Eddie Chivero, who was the campaign manager for the Zifa president Philip Chiyangwa and his deputy Omega Sibanda in the 2015 elections that ushered in the new leadership, said it was puzzling that people were calling on the Zifa leadership to hold elections when the same people making noise now did not question the wisdom of the candidates paying full four-year-term fees ahead of the 2015 elections.
“All the members of the Zifa executive committee members paid full term fees and specifically speaking of the Zifa president Chiyangwa for whom I was the campaign manager, I actually paid $5 000 on his behalf and I know other members running for the executive positions paid $1 500. These were for full four-year terms not to finish off the ousted leadership’s terms,” said Chivero.
As the chorus condemning the “resignations” of two members of the Zifa executive committee members Piraishe Mabhena and Felton Kamambo grows louder, Chivero questioned the wisdom of resigning if the duo’s terms of office had come to an end.
“Why should you resign if your term of office has ended? They simply should have let the process fall through but instead they said they were resigning meaning they know deep down their hearts that their terms of office were still legally running,” said Chivero.
Last week, world football motherbody Fifa said it was still studying the Zifa Congress resolutions and will be making their position public soon.
“On the latest developments (resignations) we have no update,” said a Fifa spokesperson.
The condemnation of the actions of Mabhena and Kamambo grew louder this week with Midlands province chairman Brian Chishanga, Naboth Magwizi of Masvingo and Manicaland’s Kuziva Nyabeza adding their voices.
Chishanga, one of the longest serving members of the Zifa Congress told our Harare Bureau that calls for the leadership to step down on the basis of an “expired term were baseless and will not change the status quo’’.
“Kamambo and Mabhena are talking about the constitution but when we went for a meeting at Prophet Magaya’s hotel in Waterfalls last year we said it was unconstitutional and that we needed 60 days’ notice which led to the postponement of the meeting to 17 February when we then held the AGM at Crowne Plaza.
“During that AGM we had some introspection on why the AGM didn’t take place in 2017 and we agreed that if it had taken place we would have set the election process in motion earlier. We then ratified the electoral committee that had been appointed and Kamambo and Mabhena sat in that meeting but none of them stood up to oppose even when we made a resolution to wait for guidelines from Fifa.
“They should not try and hold the association to ransom now and try and cause unnecessary divisions saying everyone should go because their terms have expired. We are not going to be hoodwinked by mob psychology which they are trying to create.
“We agree with them that elections should be held and we do not fear elections but there should be a smooth transition of power through the election process that is following the roadmap that was agreed to on 17 February.
“I have been in football for a long time and even if I lose elections tomorrow I do not mind but I should be able to hand over to my successor and show him that there is football in Nembudziya, Mberengwa, Gokwe, all those areas,’’ Chishanga said.
“Fifa are still going to respond and we await that response,’’ Chishanga said.
Magwizi threw his weight behind the Zifa board and said he wondered at “the obsession that some individuals have with power and elections’’ adding that his province was focusing on growing the game in their constituencies more than elections which would eventually come when the time is due.
“We have no problems with the current leadership because we went for the AGM on February 17 and we resolved to wait for the roadmap but we did not resolve to create a leadership vacuum. If anything we want continuity and we want our football to continue with the stability it has enjoyed during Chiyangwa’s time which allows those in the affiliates like ours to focus on looking for sponsorship deals which is what our football needs,’’ Magwizi said.