Zifa elections: Chiyangwa plays it dirty

ZIFA presidential aspirant Felton Kamambo continues to be frustrated by the system in his bid to challenge incumbent Philip Chiyangwa after it emerged yesterday that the appeals committee hiked the appeal fees from $1 000 to a staggering $10 000 in a move seen as tailor-made to bar him from participating in next month’s elections.

BY TAWANDA TAFIRENYIKA

The local soccer governing body is set to hold elections for the executive committee on December 1.

Kamambo – who has been fighting hard and long to deconstruct a system which continues to suppress the fundamental interests of football stakeholders – was disqualified from contesting the elections by the electoral committee.

He allegedly failed the integrity test as he is ostensibly still serving a suspension.

The former Zifa board member, who served under Chiyangwa before he quit together with Piraishe Mabhena arguing that their term of office had expired, wants to appeal against the decision.

He has however, faced numerous hurdles in his challenge for the top post with Chiyangwa – desperate to maintain his grip as the Zifa boss – employing dirty tactics including amending electoral rules.

Apart from raising the appeal fees, the football association has in a well-calculated move included Saturdays and Sundays in the four days within which an aggrieved part can lodge an appeal.

The development means Kamambo, who was disqualified late Friday, has only tomorrow to lodge his appeal papers.

The former Zifa board member said the inclusion of weekend days was surprising considering that Zifa are closed on weekends.

“I have been told by the Zifa chief executive (Joseph Mamutse) that the four days within which to lodge an appeal included Saturdays and Sundays. The contestation is that on these days Zifa will be closed so we wonder why they are included. This is all meant to ensure those who want to challenge Chiyangwa are barred. Now we only have Tuesday (today) to lodge the appeal papers,” Kamambo charged yesterday.

Kamambo had sought to appeal against his disqualification yesterday, but encountered further frustration after he failed to secure documentation he needs from Zifa to support his appeal.

He was asked to come back today, said he was determined to ensure his appeal was successful.

“My determination to appeal does not mean I have got a lot of money, but I have got support from football stakeholders. They are not happy with the direction our football is taking. By employing all these tactics, Chiyangwa thinks he can get away with murder.”

More so, according to Kamambo, he was only told yesterday that the appeal fees has been raised to $10 000, which he said was the latest dirty trick they are using to frustrate him.

As it stands, it’s highly likely that his appeal will once again fail on technicality.

Former Njube Sundowns director Gift Banda who had also submitted his nomination form seeking to challenge for the Zifa vice-presidency post, where he was set to go head-to-head with incumbent Omega Sibanda, was also disqualified.