Zifa election fiasco: Manandi out!

THE circus called the Zifa executive elections set for this weekend continues unabated after a candidate Barrymore Manandi, who was eyeing an executive committee post, withdrew his candidature yesterday, citing gross irregularities in the whole electoral process.

BY HENRY MHARA

Manandi, a prominent sportscaster, told NewsDaySport that “there is just too much dirt” and felt his name could not be used to validate a flawed election.

“There seems to be a flagrant flouting of rules, norms and standards, at a scale that makes a viable working relationship untenable under these conditions,” Manandi said.

Manandi was vying for one of the four seats in the executive committee against seven other hopefuls who include Sugar Chagonda, Mlungisi Moyo, Rodrick Chamunorwa, Chamu Chiwanza, Stanley Chapeta, Philemon Machana and Brighton Malandule.

In his withdrawal letter addressed to Zifa electoral committee chairman Vusi Vuma, Manandi picked some irregularities in the election process, which he felt could not produce a credible result.

“I would like to formally advise the electoral committee of my withdrawal as a candidate in these elections on the following grounds; there was no notification from you that my candidature had been successfully verified as requested by article 11.2 of the Zifa electoral code. Instead, I found out about my candidature through social media. To this day, I have received no formal communication about anything related to the election that is scheduled to take place on December 1.

“According to article 12 of the Zifa Electoral Code, ‘the final list of candidates shall be sent to all members of the Zifa congress and where necessary, to the relevant government bodies no less than 15 days before the elective Zifa congress’. At this stage, we are three days from the elective congress and a final list of candidates was only seen, on social media, on the 27th of November.”

Manandi also complained that he had not been furnished with a register of the delegates to the congress, which he said would have assisted in his campaign.

“In spite of our best intentions, the aforementioned, albeit not exhaustive, in terms of the ills of this election, leave us in substantial discomfort and doubt of the veracity of this process and the chances of the rest of the election being one that can stand up to any conventional norms and standards of credibility. With all this, and more, as well documented in media reports around this election, we opt out,” he said.

The Zifa elections, which are pencilled for this Saturday, for the executive committee posts and which culminate in that of the vice-president and president posts, which had been deferred by a week to December 8, have been marred in controversy.

Incumbent president Philip Chiyangwa had his spirited bid to block his challenger Felton Kamambo and Gift Banda, who is eyeing the vice-president post held by Omega Sibanda, collapsed in embarrassing fashion this week after Fifa ordered that the duo be allowed to contest in the plebiscite.

Kamambo, Banda and Moyo had initially been disqualified by the Zifa electoral committee on flimsy grounds, but after they sought recourse at Fifa, the world mother body on Tuesday annulled the bans.