Sikhumbuzo Moyo in BULAWAYO
ZIMBABWE Women Football Matabeleland South provincial chairperson Samukele Sibanda was labelled a Gamatox and threatened with expulsion from ZIFA Village in the middle of the night after she refused to sign a petition calling for the suspension of the national chairperson Miriam Sibanda.
She becomes the second councillor to publicly reveal that she refused to sign the petition after Northern Region boss Wilbert Rambanapasi distanced himself from the “clandestine and unprocedural gathering” on Monday.
Sport, Arts and Culture Deputy Minister, Tabetha Kanengoni-Malinga, said the so-called suspension of Sibanda was a very negative development, which needed to be condemned in the strongest way possible.
“They are bringing down Miriam Sibanda who has been working very hard in ensuring that women football in the country is developed,” Kanengoni-Malinga told H-Metro.
“Just because someone is doing well, now you want to bring them down. You want to remove them. Surely, it doesn’t make any sense.
“Instead of bringing women football up, they are bringing it down. I am not happy with what is going on. It clearly shows that they don’t care about women football.
“They have forgotten the issue of getting us unbanned (from the 2018 World Cup) and now they are concentrating on who is on my side and who is not. i am not happy.”
As details continue to emerge, the Bulawayo delegation was given $500 from the ZIFA coffers as transport, which shows how much the association’s Secretariat was a big part of the plot, with the money being delivered by women football administrator Theresa Maguraushe.
Some sources said one of the Bulawayo delegation member, Butho Ngwenya, whose participation in the flawed meeting surprised many as he was said not to be a member of the region or province, was given $600 before departure for Harare.
Ngwenya claims he is a member of the Southern Region board.
Ngwenya was to further cause more drama in Harare after he allegedly signed on behalf of Sibanda who had stood her ground “for I did not know the crime which the trio (Miriam, board members Ben Mamoshe and Edwin Magosvongwe) had committed.”
The meeting has since been described as null and void by the ZIFA vice-president Omega Sibanda.
Samukele told Chronicle Sport yesterday:
“When they phoned me, they said the meeting was for us to meet with the ZIFA president Cuthbert Dube and the chief executive officer Jonathan Mashingaidze where we will then speak about problems we are facing in women football.
“There was no mention of a petition and, naturally, I was surprised upon getting to Harare and being given a document to sign.
“I refused forthwith and said how can I sign something which I was not part of and in any event I am not the province myself but I represent a constituency which I should consult first before making any decision,” said Sibanda.
She was part of Super League clubs that attended a meeting chaired by Miriam in Harare yesterday.
All the 12 clubs vowed to play under Miriam’s leadership.
Samukele said after she refused to sign, she was threatened with expulsion by Central Region boss, Beaular Musara, daughter to Farisai Tongogara, owner of Gweru’s Chipembere Queens and a close ally of Cuthbert Dube. “Together with Brighton Kadenge, Dumisani Sithole and Mai Muzvidziwa (Rosemary Muzvidziwa, Masvingo chairperson), they started calling me Gamatox, threatening to chuck me out of the Village.