FRESH details have emerged on how Zifa president Philip Chiyangwa allegedly used dirty tricks to try and ring fence his position from being contested in the December 1 board elections, with disqualified candidates claiming they were suspended from all football activities by the association after they had shown their ambitions to challenge the incumbent.
BY HENRY MHARA
Felton Kamambo had his bid to contest Chiyangwa thrown out by the Zifa electoral committee on the basis that he is serving a suspension.
The electoral committee also said Kamambo, a former Zifa board member, failed to pass an integrity test, which was questionably conducted by the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc).
Zifa claims that they suspended the former Central Region chairman together with Piraishe Mabhena in April, just a month after the two had left Zifa, where they were serving as board members, citing an expiry of their term.
The suspension letters were written on April 19, but only arrived to their recipients on October 23, having been delivered by post.
In an interview with NewsDay Weekender yesterday, Mabhena claimed that Zifa only decided to suspend them from football after they realised that Kamambo had requested for a nomination paper to contest for the presidency.
“It’s clear that those letters were backdated after they realised we were going to contest for some positions. What could be the logic of sending the letters by post in this 21st century? Why does this charge come after I resigned from the association some months down the line? Why should this charge be sent through the post on the eve of the close of nominations? It is important for national leaders of sport to be reasonable in their quest to hang onto power. This is simply not acceptable,” said Mabhena, whose envelope containing the letter had a post stamp dated October 23.
Mabhena eventually decided against contesting, while Kamambo went on to file his nomination to run against Chiyangwa, forms that were thrown out.
Kamambo has since appealed the decision.
“Suffice to say, I have been suspended for improper conduct at the 10th of December 2017 failed congress, really?
What wrong did I do? Why was this not brought at the subsequent meetings that took place in January and the February congress? Dragging other people’s names in the mud shows a high degree of desperation. And the question is why are these guys so desperate to cling on to a broke association? Food for thought!” Mabhena said.
Contacted for comment, Zifa lawyer Itai Ndudzo said, “That is what they are claiming, but communication to them was made in black and white. They know the truth.”
In his notice of appeal application, Kamambo questions why Chiyangwa handpicked Zacc to conduct integrity tests on the candidates, something that was supposed to be done by a Zifa Ethics committee as installed by the Zifa assembly.
Normally, it is the duty of the police to carry out integrity tests.
Chiyangwa is alleged to have strong links with senior officials at Zacc.
The electoral committee did not disclose to Kamambo or make the reasons public why he failed the integrity test, but it emerged that Chiyangwa allegedly concocted rape charges, where he is accusing his challenger of sexually abusing a Mighty Warriors and Black Rhinos Queens player (name supplied).
Sources claimed that Chiyangwa tried to convince the alleged rape victim to lay charges against Kamambo, amid reports of attempting to give her a $15
000 inducement — that was rejected.
Fresh reports suggest that Chiyangwa’s camp having realised that the Black Rhinos Queens football player has refused to fall prey to his manoeuvres, they are now targeting another Mighty Warriors player who they can use to do the hatchet job.
Ndudzo confirmed Kamambo is facing rape charges.
“Kamambo knows the player in question, and he has been lying about the Black Rhinos player. Fifa is extremely serious when it comes to the protection of the girl child. When a male predator abuses his office in a manner that violates the rights of the girl child a football associations takes it seriously to protect the girl child. He knows he is facing a serious issue of predatory behaviour towards the girl child,” said Ndudzo.
However, Kamambo has scoffed at the allegations, saying it’s a plot to smear him.
“How do you disqualify a candidate based on mere accusations, especially coming from a competitor?”
Ndudzo said Kamambo’s appeal will fail on a technicality.
Kamambo filed his appeals papers before the Tuesday deadline, although he claimed the provisions for appealing were not made available to him. He ended up paying an appeals fee of $3 500.
“He (Kamambo) knows there is requirement to pay $10 000 for an aspiring presidential candidate. He was in the executive and he knows that but he chose not to pay the required amount. This information is for the public, if you go to Zifa you will get the information. So its just a piece of paper which is null and void,” he said.
Other than Kamambo, other prospective candidates that were barred from contesting for positions are Gift Banda, who has since approached Fifa for a recourse, and Mlungisi Moyo.
Banda wanted to contest for the vice presidency post, a position currently held by Omega Sibanda, a Chiyangwa ally.