Allan Foti, Sports Correspondent
THE roadmap for the Zifa board elections, which were set for June 2018, has been dealt a blow due to last Saturday’s aborted annual general meeting.
The election roadmap is among many key issues that will not be resolved going into the New Year, making it difficult for affiliates and the domestic football governing body to plan ahead.
Zifa councillors refused to be cowed into holding a defective AGM with a defective agenda by the association’s president Philip Chiyangwa, but the decision has set back the association’s election roadmap by a possible six months.
In accordance with the constitution, the aborted Zifa congress was expected to appoint and install an electoral committee headed by a chairman and also comprising a deputy chairman and committee members.
Article 27 (2) (s) empowers the councillors to install the electoral committee, which in turn is mandated to come up with an election roadmap and manage the elections.
Elections are due for all of Zifa’s affiliates, including the Premier Soccer League, the four regions, provinces, beach soccer and futsal, after which the councillors will vote to elect a new board.
Other key issues that were not resolved, but top the agenda at AGMs, according to the constitution, are:
– Presentation of the consolidated and revised balance sheet and the profit and loss statement;
– Approval of the financial statements;
– Approval of the budget;
– Appointment of independent auditors upon the proposal of the executive committee.
It is unlikely that the councillors were aware of the ramifications of aborting the AGM or if the association’s secretariat is capacitated to deal with the arrangement of such an event.
A lawyer, who declined to be named, questioned the wisdom of aborting the AGM and the Zifa chief executive’s ability to manage his mandate of effectively organising and managing the association’s key expectations.
He also admonished the association’s legal advisors for their failure to alert the association’s board on the importance of sending the AGM notice on time and maintaining constitutional integrity in drafting the agenda of the meeting.
“Councillors may have been right when they chose to abort the AGM, but the flip side is that several key issues can no longer be discussed and resolved in time and according to Zifa’s constitution. We now have a scenario where we are likely to have two AGMs in the same year,” said the lawyer.
“As it is, issues such as the president’s report, presentation of financials and the appointment of independent auditors will now only be done next year, which is against the principles of corporate governance. They can’t even hold elections for the area zones until the AGM is held,” he added.
It is widely believed that the failure by the association to hold the AGM may result in bigger problems ahead of elections, which now realistically look like they will be held towards the end of next year, effectively giving the incumbent board an extra year in office.
The worry for many in football circles is the impact the AGM abandonment will have on national team assignments.
Another concern is the likelihood of a failed relationship between the once chummy Zifa council and its president Chiyangwa, whose penchant for bullying seems to have finally rubbed the councillors the wrong way, hence their unexpected rebellion.
It’s also believed that many in the Zifa council are no longer willing to countenance Chiyangwa’s obsession with suspending and banning everyone opposed to his leadership style, which is often viewed as abrasive and destructive to football.