>> Phiri mulls resigning

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>> Musariri walks away

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>> Mashingaidze left exposed

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Cuthbert Dube

Cuthbert Dube

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EMBATTLED Zifa president Cuthbert Dube is in panic mode after one of his close allies, Twine Phiri, hinted at resigning at an emergency meeting held to discuss the country’s expulsion from the 2018 World Cup qualifiers in Harare on Friday evening.

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The development came hours after Zifa finance commitee member Joseph Musariri resigned citing poor corporate governace.

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Phiri, who is also the Premier Soccer League chairman, gave the resigning hint after a frank exchange that saw him suggesting that the whole Zifa board resigns in the face of growing criticism over the manner they are conducting business.

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“Twine was brutally frank during the meeting that also had Fungai Chihuri, John Phiri and Jonathan Mashingaidze present,” an official plugged into Zifa revealed last night.

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“He said the decision by Fifa to expel Zimbabwe from the 2018 World Cup had seen the Zifa board hitting a new low which probably needed new brooms to come and sort out.

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“It was at that point that he revealed that he was seriously considering calling it a day as Zifa’s problems were beginning to negatively impact on the Premier Soccer League brand and his name. A visibly shaken Dube then asked Twine not to make an emotional decision and gave him up to Monday (tomorrow) to calm down and think it over.”

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Fifa last week announced that they had expelled Zimbabwe from the 2018 World Cup qualifiers “as a result of the non-payment of an outstanding debt” to former coach Jose Claudinei Georgini alias Valinhos.

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Fifa’s move appears to have been the trigger behind Musariri’s resignation.

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In a letter addressed to Mashingaidze and copied to all Zifa board members, the Harare-based freight executive revealed that the finance committee — headed by Ben Gwarada — was never briefed of the Valinhos issue. He further accused Mashingaidze of deliberately suffocating the operations of the committee for his own selfish benefit.

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“After careful consideration of my present value to the association I have concluded that the conditions necessary for the proper functioning of the finance committee do not exist for me to continue being associated with the committee,” wrote Musariri.

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“I have therefore decided to step down from the committee with immediate effect for specific reasons which include the following:

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l Dysfunctional state of the committee;

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l The first meeting of the committee was only convened on 5 February 2015 (five months after my appointment) . . . It was my hope that with the challenges that Zifa is facing the committee was going to play an integral part in attending to the finances of the association.

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l My belief is that the dysfunctional state of the committee is at the pleasure of the office of the chief executive officer which failed to convene meetings of the committee even when requested to do so. On the two occasions that the committee met we expected the CEO to be present, but he did not avail himself for both meetings.

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l Several requests by the committee to be furnished with the association’s management accounts and related information have not been successful to date. This has given me the impression that the secretariat is either “secretive” to the committee or does respect the mandate of the committee as I understand it.

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l The committee has requested for a meeting with the Zifa president. That request was not acted upon by the CEO.

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l The committee has neither been apprised nor involved in any efforts that are reportedly being made by the association to address the crippling Zifa debt.

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l The recent exclusion of Zimbabwe from the World Cup qualifiers due to a financial matter that the committee was never made aware of has really disheartened me and I feel exposed as a member of the committee.”

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Efforts to get a comment from Phiri were futile late last night as he was reported to be out of the country while Musariri confirmed having tendered his resignation.