Petros Kausiyo, Harare Bureau
THE matter in which Zifa are seeking to effect disciplinary action against their suspended vice-president, Gift Banda, was yesterday deferred to April 11.
This followed the raising of some preliminary issues, largely based on the association’s failure to furnish the defendant, with some vital documents.
Banda and his legal team arrived at the venue of the hearing but the case did not take off the ground after the Bulawayo-based administrator argued he had not been furnished with all the documentation related to the charges he was facing.
He said this made it difficult for him to prepare his defence.
Zifa lawyer, Chenaimoyo Gumiro, said the case had since been moved to April 11 by which time the association should have sent Banda all the requested documentation.
“The matter was postponed to enable Zifa to serve Banda with documents he requested to enable him to prepare for his defence.
“We anticipate to finalise the matter that day,’’ Gumiro said.
He said Banda’s defence team had questioned the legality of allowing Tendai Masawi to chair the disciplinary hearing citing possible conflict of interest.
They claimed Masawi was also Zifa president Felton Kamambo’s lawyer.
“Yes, he made an application for his (Masawi’s) recusal which was dismissed,’’ Gumiro said.
It is understood that one of the key documents to be used during the proceedings are the minutes of the meeting that resolved to suspend Banda on January 16.
Banda’s case was discussed under the agenda item that dealt with the national teams’ technical status.
Kamambo raised it after his deputy had effected changes in the Warriors set up when dismissing Sunday Chidzambwa’s assistants – Rahman Gumbo and Lloyd Mutasa – and replacing them with Bongani Mafu and Tonderai Ndiraya.
Ironically, it has since emerged all the technical crew did not have any contracts and, as such, they could not have been deemed to be employed by Zifa.
Chidzambwa’s contract was only renewed a few weeks ago.
Part of the minutes of that January 16 meeting read:
“The president informed the meeting that the appointment of technical officials for national teams should be in tandem with the constitution.
”He said when he was away in Senegal the vice-president announced changes in the national team and Under-23.
“The president checked with the vice-president and other board members if they had convened a board meeting where the said changes were discussed and approved.
”The vice-president and the board members all said there was no meeting which was held to discuss the latter.
“The president then asked the vice-president why he had made these appointments without the authority of the board. The vice-president said that he had discussed with the president about the need to reshuffle the technical structure of the senior men and U-23.
“The president reiterated that he never authorised such and that vice-president’s action was in gross violation of the constitution.
“While acknowledging that vice-president had proposed to him that there be a change of the assistant coaches, the president reiterated in the meeting that he had advised the vice-president then that it was not necessary to do that because the team was performing well and were only 90 minutes away from qualifying into Afcon finals.
“Moreover, such a decision would require a full board consent as dictated by the constitution.”
It was also revolved at the same indaba to nullify the changes which Banda had made and to take punitive action against him.
“The Executive committee members voted based on following options of their choice. a) Reversal and no action b) Reversal and Reprimand c) Reversal and Suspension.
“The results of the vote were as follows: – a) Reversal and No action – (1 vote) b) Reversal and Reprimand – (2 votes) c) Reversal and Suspension – (4 votes),’’ read the minutes.