Takudzwa Chitsiga Harare Bureau
ZIFA had by late yesterday not contacted their board member (finance), Bernard Gwarada, to try and resolve the dispute related to his property which was attached by the Messenger of Court on Monday.On Monday, the Messenger of Court raided Gwarada’s business premises and attached two 30-seater luxury minibuses, furniture and computers.
A 75-seater luxury bus was also set to be towed away yesterday.
LED Travel and Tours, Gwarada’s company, was the travel agency used by Zifa to issue air tickets for the Warriors to travel to Egypt for a 2014 World Cup qualifier.
Although Gwarada was not yet on the Zifa board, when his company issued the tickets, the latest developments have torched a storm.
Questions are being asked as to how someone, who was doing business with Zifa on such a grand scale, would then come on board and become one of the board members of the same organisation.
Such an arrangement, said analysts, was unhealthy as it gave ammunition to those who felt that they were elbowed out of the race to become Zifa board member (finance) because Gwarada had a healthy head start since he was already in bed with the association.
Yesterday Gwarada appeared to be fighting a lone battle to recover his property.
This is in sharp contrast to how Zifa chief executive, Jonathan Mashingaidze, reacted when the Messenger of Court attached property belonging to the association’s president, Cuthbert Dube, in a similar case.
Mashingaidze did not only drive to Dube’s property in Groombridge, Harare, while the Messenger of Court was still at the premises but he even issued a statement, apologising to the Zifa president, a day after the raid.
Interestingly, both Dube and Gwarada were exposed after they committed themselves to financing the Warriors during their international commitments.
However, Mashingaidze’s claims that the $281,000 debt owed by Zifa to Pandhari Lodge, which led to the attachment of Dube’s property, was related to the Warriors’ 2015 Nations Cup qualifier against Tanzania last year has already been unmasked as a Mother of All Lies.
“On Friday, the Sheriff intended to remove Dr Dube’s property over the association’s debt to hospitality firm, Pandhari Lodge,” Mashingaidze said in a statement released shortly after the raid on Dube’s double-storey mansion.
“It was an embarrassing episode for the president to face the probable loss of his hard earned assets as a result of Zifa’s debt. Therefore, we would like to apologise to him for the embarrassment and denigration such an unfortunate occurrence might have caused to him and his family.
“Dr Dube had acted as the guarantor for the debt in question ahead of the Warriors’ 2015 Afcon qualifier with Tanzania. The president saved Zifa from CAF and Fifa sanctions as the Tanzania national team had been denied entry.
“The saga had also sucked in Tanzania’s ambassador to Zimbabwe prompting the president to intervene and avoid a diplomatic fall out by eventually presenting his personal assets as surety.
“The Tanzanians were therefore granted accommodation on credit with the promise of a later payment to the service provider (Pandhari Lodge).”
Questions have already been asked about how the accommodation of the Tanzanians, at Pandhari Lodge in May last year, for just four days, could have attracted a bill that is in the range of $281,000 even after interest has been factored in.
Both Gwarada and Zimbabwe Football Trust leader, Tshinga Dube, who provided security for the loan to be accessed at BancABC, have blamed Mashingaidze, for the mess that they find themselves in.
“Zifa, through Mashingaidze, misled the Zifa Trust board to help them secure the loan on the basis that they would repay in time,” Tshinga Dube told the media on Monday.
Gwarada also laid the blame on Mashingaidze’s doorstep.
“Mashingaidze had promised that he will use funds from Fifa to get this issue sorted out but nothing happened and this is what has led us to this unfortunate position,” said Gwarada.