Gift Banda set for Zifa rebound as boss

24 Jan, 2022 - 00:01 0 Views

The Chronicle

Sikhumbuzo Moyo, Senior Sports Reporter
SUSPENDED Zifa vice-president and Bulawayo based businessman Gift Banda could make a sensational return to mainstream football administration as acting association president.

Banda was controversially suspended by his Zifa executive committee colleagues after a board meeting on January 16, 2019, exactly a month after winning the Zifa vice presidency.

Banda was accused of reshuffling the senior national team’s technical staff during which he removed then assistant coaches Rahman Gumbo and Lloyd Mutasa, replacing them with Tonderayi Ndiraya and Bongani Mafu respectively.

His colleagues claimed Banda made that decision unilaterally without engaging the executive, a charge that Banda dismissed as frivolous.

While a suspended person must be brought before a disciplinary committee within two weeks, Banda stood on the sidelines for an incredible 14 months until March 7, 2020, when the Zifa disciplinary committee exonerated him of all charges.

Before he assumed his duties, the Zifa executive appealed against its own disciplinary committee’s decision, but on June 2, 2020, the matter was again thrown out on a technicality by the appeals committee after Zifa failed to comply with Article 7 of the Zifa rules and regulations which state that an appeal must be accompanied by an appeal fee. Zifa had not provided proof that it had paid the appeal fee.

Instead of allowing Banda to assume his duties, the national association went on to apply for condonation which was granted, but since then the matter is still to be heard and Banda remains sidelined.

However, sources this week said the upcoming Zifa extraordinary congress, which is set for Saturday, could free the football administrator, who formed and ran one of the most exciting football clubs in the country, Njube Sundowns.

“Discussions have been going on among the delegates regarding Banda issue. Remember not all members of the executive committee may be removed.

In fact, from the look of things, it may be three, which will leave three, rendering their mandate to remain in office unconstitutional because the statues say if more than 50 percent of the executive committee members are out of office the secretariat will then be in charge for 90 days before elections.

However, there is a school of thought, one which is actually very strong, to have that illegal suspension of Banda lifted. More so the man actually twice won his case, but selfish individuals have been stopping him from assuming office,” said a delegate.

If Banda returns to office, it will bring the number of executive committee members to four, provided the delegates do not revoke the mandate of all members of the committee.

The delegates’ hands could be tied on revoking the mandate of Premier Soccer League boss Farai Jere, Zimbabwe

Women’s Soccer League chairperson Barbra Chikosi since they are deployees of separate constituencies and are also victims, especially Chikosi.

Executive committee member Sugar Chagonda might also survive revocation of his mandate after he immediately accepted the Sports and Recreation Commission’s decision to suspend them, leaving president Felton Kamambo, Phillimon Machana, who has been illegally tagging himself as acting vice-president, as well as Bryton Malandule, the likely victims of the extraordinary congress.

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