Zifa now a mafia cartel: Chamu Chiwanza
Sikhumbuzo Moyo, Senior Sports Reporter
ABOUT a year since his expulsion from the Zifa executive committee over allegations of fraud and misrepresentation, Harare businessman Chamu Chiwanza has claimed that Zimbabwean football is run by a mafia that needs to be stopped urgently.
Chiwanza said while the general belief is that he had accepted his expulsion from the Zifa board, he was far from giving in.
He said the whole process leading to his “sham” dismissal was flawed and stage-managed to ensure he was out of football for good.
“It’s common cause that my rights to be heard were trampled on in a deliberate act by Zifa because they knew their case was not only weak, but the hearing was going to be a huge embarrassment to the establishment. I was not told of the venue after the initial one was suddenly changed and when I asked why they changed the venue I got no answer, but more crucially the new venue was also not communicated to me or my legal team.
“So you can see that the writing was on the wall in terms of what kind of judgment was going to be delivered by the disciplinary committee. Zifa is run by a cartel that has to be stopped,” said Chiwanza.
He said all the machinations were done to ensure there was no one within the executive committee that will make noise about the need for a forensic audit of the association’s books, hence Zifa vice-president Gift Banda was also suspended for calling for a forensic audit.
Banda has twice won his case and twice Zifa has appealed against decisions of its own judicial bodies.
“Public funds are being embezzled there (at Zifa) and only a forensic audit will reveal the frightening magnitude of the fraud. It’s a well organised criminal activity. Some people are now taking their positions in the executive as a profession, which is salaried.
“We are aware of daily withdrawals of US$30 000 in batches of US$10 000 which is then taken to the black market and after that a lower rate is used to pay creditors, while the difference goes into people’s pockets. No one can raise the red flag because probably most, if not all, are benefiting from such an arrangement,” said Chiwanza.