Sikhumbuzo Moyo Senior Sports Reporter
ZIFA has not paid its employees for the past 11 months, a situation that has forced them to petition the chief executive officer, Jonathan Mashingaidze and threating to approach the courts for redress. The association’s communications manager Xolisani Gwesela could neither confirm nor deny the development, citing employer/employee confidentiality.
“It’s not only unethical to talk about salary issues with the Press, it’s also a flagrant violation of our contractual obligations,” said Gwesela.
The petition decision is largely influenced by the $575,000 deposit that Zifa received from Fifa last month. Instead of the association diverting part of the money to offset employees’ salaries, it reportedly chose to pay a Harare based hospitality institution.
Last week, Zifa president Cuthbert Dube was visited by the messenger of court over a debt owed by the association to Pandhari Lodge.
“We’ve not received a salary in the last 11 months yet we see our bosses globe-trotting for major international tournaments. We also know that Fifa sent close to $600,000 in January and we were expecting something as employees but alas, the money was used to pay a debt at some lodge,” said an employee.
Zifa board member in charge of finance, Harare businessman Ben Gwarada expressed ignorance about the Fifa grant before referring inquiries to Dube and Mashingaidze.
“I’m not even aware that we got such an amount of money, it’s something new to me. Get in touch with the president or the chief executive officer who I think might be in a better position to know although of course protocol demands that I should be in the picture,” said Gwarada, one of the three “rebel” board members who were meant to be chucked out of the board during the extra-ordinary general meeting which was initially set for tomorrow.
But, following an intervention by the Sport and Recreation Commission, Zifa were forced to postpone the indaba to the end of this month.
According to the employees the $500,000 is part of the bonus payment from the Fifa 2014 World Cup paid to all the associations while the $75,000 falls under the FAP funds.