Chiwanza’s Zifa bid thrown out

The Sunday Mail

Sports Reporter

HIGH Court judge, Justice Philda Muzofa, has dealt a big blow to Zifa board member Chamu Chiwanza’s bid to have his suspension by the association nullified after dismissing the urgent application he had filed with the court today.

Chiwanza was last week suspended by an emergency committee of the Zifa board on allegations that he committed acts of misconduct, “which acts are a serious breach of the ZIFA statutes and regulations”.

Justice Muzofa ruled that there was no urgency in Chiwanza’s application and struck the matter off the roll of urgent cases.

The High Court notified Chiwanza of his failed bid through a brief letter to his lawyers Mutamangira and Associates.
He had cited Zifa and the association’s president, Felton Kamambo, as the first and second respondents.
“RE: Chamunorwa Chiwanza v Zimbabwe Football Association and Felton Kamambo

“The above matter was placed before Honourable Muzofa J who commented as follows: ‘No urgency in the matter, the matter is struck off the roll of urgent matters’,’’ the Court said.

The Emergency Committee is a four-member group comprising the association’s president Kamambo, finance guru Philemon Machana, Premier Soccer League boss Farai Jere and board member (development) Brighton Malandule.

It deals with administrative decisions in between scheduled board meetings and last week they slapped Chiwanza with a suspension pending the outcome of the misconduct allegations raised against him.

Chiwanza had argued that the Emergency Committee was not constitutionally mandated to suspend him and sought an interdiction over the decision taken by Kamambo’s leadership.

“The first respondent’s purported Emergency Committee in a letter dated July 11 2019 suspended the applicant from his role as an executive committee member on a number of unsubstantiated allegations.

“The Emergency Committee which purportedly made a decision to suspend the applicant was not properly appointed and purportedly exercised non-existent powers of suspension in terms of the Zifa constitution.

“The decision to suspend the Applicant is not only contrary to the Zifa constitution but also violates his constitutional right to administrative action that is lawful, reasonable, impartial and both substantially and procedurally fair as provided in terms of the Constitution of Zimbabwe,’’ wrote Chiwanza’s lawyers.

They had also argued that the urgency on the matter also stemmed from the fact that Chiwanza needed to take part in the case in which Zifa must respond to the Sport and Recreation Commission’s request for a report on the Warriors’ pathetic Africa Cup of Nations campaign in Egypt.

“The suspension takes away his right to participate in his defence in the SRC’s inquiry into the first respondent’s management of the national football team’s 2019 Afcon campaign in Egypt in terms of Section 30 of the SRC Act.

“Applicant, therefore, seeks on an urgent basis interdictory relief temporarily setting aside the purported suspension until the determination of the constitutional case for the violation of his constitutional right to administrative action that is lawful, reasonable, impartial and both substantively and procedurally fair.”

In view of Justice Muzofa’s ruling, Chiwanza would now have to pursue normal court procedures for his matter to be heard while the flamboyant Harare businessman would also have to face the Zifa Ethics committee that is dealing with a case in which his election onto the board on December 16 last year is being challenged by Central Region chairman, Stanley Chapeta.