Ricky Zililo, Senior Sports Reporter
THE suspended Zifa board has been accused of trying to orchestrate a “witch-hunt” by writing to the 27 councillors that called for an extraordinary general meeting to confirm if they signed the petition for an EGM that might result in revocation of the board’s mandate.
The Zifa secretariat currently headed by acting chief executive officer Xolisani Gwesela set January 29 as the date for the special EGM despite dogged resistance from the suspended board.
Twenty-seven disgruntled councillors, who make up more than one-third of the Zifa council, appended their signatures on the petition calling for the EGM.
All members of the suspended board have been issued with copies of the charges they should answer at the special EGM.
The councillors called for the meeting using Article 28(2) of the Zifa constitution, which states: “If an extraordinary congress is not convened, the members who requested it may convene the congress themselves.”
Yesterday, suspended Zifa chief executive officer Joseph Mamutse wrote to the 27 councillors under instruction from his suspended principals, demanding confirmation in writing by tomorrow that they indeed signed the petition for the January 29 EGM.
“The executive committee would like to ascertain the authenticity of the document that was circulated on 3rd January 2022 requesting for the said EGM.
“We kindly request you to confirm in writing the following:
“l that you voluntarily requested for the EGM and came up with the charge sheets laced with alleged potential revocation of the executive committee in a letter dated 31st December 2021.
“l that you are part of the decision that set the date of the EGM on 29th January 2022 as per letter dated 7 January 2022 (signed by Mr Martin Kweza on behalf of the 27 congress delegates), wrote to Fifa and copied to Zifa and other stakeholders.
“The confirmation is critical and will enable the executive committee to initiate arrangements for the EGM in accordance with our Zifa constitution,” wrote Mamutse. Allegations of poor governance, gross financial mismanagement, mishandling of material resources, covering up sexual harassment claims and usurping powers of the Zifa congress have been thrown at the suspended Zifa executive committee members.
Last week, Gwesela confirmed the January 29 EGM. Speaking on behalf of the councillors, Kweza, chairman off the Zifa Northern Region, said the letter is meant to “intimidate and expose councillors to victimisation”.
He dismissed Mamutse’s letter, saying he has no mandate to write on behalf of Zifa, since he is suspended.
“Our letter was correctly addressed to the acting CEO (Gwesela), who has appropriately replied to our communication in terms of the constitutional provisions.
“Any communication other than from the acting CEO is a fuss and legal nullity and will be duly ignored,” Kweza said.
“We’re seeing the letter from the suspended executive through the suspended CEO as a clear way of trying to victimise and threaten the councillors.
We’re happy to note that the councillors have agreed to ignore this communication from the suspended individuals and remain united as we head to (the) January 29 EGM.
“Key to also note is that the meeting has been called in accordance with section 28.2 of the constitution.
“It says one third can call for an EGM and, in this case, more than a third of councillors called for the meeting. There’s no requirement for Zifa to issue a communication calling for confirmation.
“Besides, precedence has been set (in 2015 councillors called for an EGM to revoke Zifa president Cuthbert Dube’s mandate).”
Suspended Zifa president Felton Kamambo was part of the councillors who revoked Dube’s mandate at that time. – @ZililoR