Daniel Nemukuyu Senior Court Reporter
CUTHBERT Dube, who is battling to keep his job as ZIFA president amid vicious opposition from defiant councillors angling for his removal, suffered humiliation yesterday when the Sheriff of the High Court raided his Groombridge mansion and cleared household property as well as five top-of-the-range vehicles.
The Sheriff of the High Court stormed Dube’s residence on the day the battle by the ZIFA councillors to oust him received a massive boost with FIFA acknowledging their fight and ordering that the issues they raised should not be dismissed and should be included on the agenda of an Assembly meeting to be held not later than June 16.
Dube failed to fulfil his part of a payment plan, which he had agreed with Pandhari Lodge, to service a debt owed to the hospitality and services group, which now stands at $117 000, forcing the Sheriff of the High Court to pounce on his property.
The Harare business executive offered himself as a guarantor when the country’s football controlling body, which is being weighed down by a mountain of debts estimated to be around $5 million to $7 million, enjoyed the hospitality and services of Pandhari Lodge in Harare between February 2 and September 30, 2013.
The Warriors and some of their opponents stayed at Pandhari Lodge, with Dube acting as the guarantor as the association did not pay for the services, while a number of ZIFA meetings were also held there.
Reports have indicated that more than $65 000, which was poured into ZIFA coffers by the Premier Soccer League recently for the association to dissolve the debt owed to former Warriors coach Valinhos and help the national team bounce back into the 2018 World Cup qualifiers, was channelled into the Pandhari Lodge account.
Zimbabwe now have less than 10 days to serve their World Cup campaign.
In February, Dube successfully stopped the initial removal of his property after presenting a payment plan to Pandhari Lodge but yesterday he lost it all after defaulting on a $40 000 payment plan to dissolve the debt.
Apart from the $117 000 owed to Pandhari, the Sheriff will recover his collection costs to the tune of $7 917,72 from the attached property.
The Sheriff Macduff Madhega and his team took away the following property:
a) Toyota Land Cruiser, registration number AAD 1368;
b) Land Rover Discovery, registration number AAQ 3270;
c) Mercedes Benz S600, registration number ACO 0649;
d) VW GTI, registration number ABF9563;
e) Mini Cooper, registration number ACM 2807.
The Sheriff also attached household property including four refrigerators, three sets of leather sofas, a brown couch, a washing machine and microwaves.
In February, the debt stood at $281 000 but Dube undertook to clear it in monthly instalment but later defaulted.
He paid $164 000, leaving a balance of $117 000.
Officers from the Sheriff’s Office yesterday stormed Dube’s double-storey Groombridge mansion as early as 6am but due to resistance from the
guards, they only gained access an hour later after Madhega arrived .
They started by driving the vehicles away before getting into the mansion to take away the furniture.
The property was attached on the strength of a High Court order issued by Justice Lavender Makoni on January 21 this year.
The order reads:
“It is ordered that the application for summary judgment be and is hereby granted. The respondents (ZIFA and Dr Dube) shall pay to the applicant (Pandhari Lodge), jointly or severally, the one paying the other, to be absolved the sum of $268 435,57 together with interest at the prescribed rate of 5 percent per annum from the date of summons (October 24, 2013) to the date of full and final payment . . .”
The ZIFA president has come under increasing pressure in recent weeks to quit, with a number of stakeholders concerned that football has suffered badly since he took over as the leader of domestic football.
Reports seem to indicate that FIFA President, Sepp Blatter, recently expressed concern with the negativity that was stalking Zimbabwe football.
During a 15-minute meeting during the CAF Congress held in Cairo, Egypt, attended by Blatter and Dube, the FIFA boss voiced his concern that Zimbabwe football was being plagued by negativity and it was not helping the game that its leadership was being sucked into all these negative stuff.
Blatter is believed to have told Dube that it was time that people in leadership positions in the game in the country looked at themselves in the mirror and see their contribution to the stench that was coming out of the game here and make bold decisions.