SENSATIONAL TWIST TO CHIWANZA DRAMA

Sports Reporter
IN a sensational twist, correspondence has emerged showing that Chamu Chiwanza was thrust into the leadership structures of Conduit Soccer Academy, way back as 2011.

And, along the way, he gained the five years of experience needed to contest for a post on the ZIFA board by the time the polls were held last December.

It has also emerged that from January 2011, he was chairman of the Zimbabwe Women Football Rebranding and Fundraising Committee.

The Harare businessman was last week pushed out of the ZIFA board after the association’s disciplinary committee ruled he was guilty of misrepresenting facts that he had eight years of experience in football administration prior to seeking a position on the executive committee.

The disciplinary committee endorsed the decision that had been taken by the ZIFA emergency committee on the same subject in July this year.

“We refer to the above matter. We advise that the disciplinary board deliberated on your matter on the 14th of August 2019 at ZIFA House boardroom,’’ ZIFA chief executive Joseph Mamutse wrote to Chiwanza last week.

“We advise that you were found guilty in respect to two charges which are:

  1. Fraud in that you misrepresented facts that you had 8 years’ experience in football, more particularly that you were the Secretary General of Conduit Soccer Academy. It was held that that was a misrepresentation of facts as the said Conduit Soccer Academy denied that you were ever employed by it or that you were involved in the administration of its affairs.
  2. Bringing the game of football into disrepute, in that you contravened article 60 of the ZIFA constitution which specifically prohibits taking football matters to the formal courts. It was found that you disregarded this article and filed an urgent chamber application at the High Court against the Association and its president.

“Consequently the disciplinary board made a penalty that you be expelled from being an Executive committee member of Zimbabwe Football Association.’’

The ZIFA emergency committee had ruled in July that Chiwanza had presented “fake credentials to the ZIFA Electoral Committee in 2018 elections by fraudulently misleading that you had the requisite 5 years from a certain football club when this was not the case, as is prescribed in article 32(4) of the ZIFA constitution.’’

However, correspondence has surfaced which shows that Chiwanza, in fact, received that appointment from Conduit Soccer Academy from way back in 2011 and this was again confirmed by an email that was sent in January this year.

The developments also puts into question the operations of the ZIFA judicial bodies, especially the disciplinary committee, which is led by a lawyer.

A letter from Conduit Soccer Academy in January 2011, bearing the signature of Givemore Chidhakwa, in his capacity as COSA vice-president, to Chiwanza, confirms the appointment.

“We wish to advise that after having gone through interview with various interested parties, we have unanimously agreed to appoint you as the secretary-general for COSA with effect from January 1, 2011, until further communication,’’ the letter reads.

“We are confident COSA will benefit from your expertise and we shall be giving you all the support that you require to discharge your duties.’’

Chidhakwa is now the chairman of Futsal.

On January 25 this year, Adonis Sithole, the COSA treasurer, also confirmed Chiwanza’s appointment in an email which was copied to Chidhakwa and acting ZIFA vice-president Philemon Machana, who is the COSA boss.

“Herewith is your letter of appointment as COSA secretary-general,’’ Sithole said in the email.

However, about a month earlier, Sithole had written to Mamutse expressing a different position.

“Conduit Soccer Academy is in possession of your correspondence dated 20th Decemeber 2018, in relation to the above subject matter,’’ Sithole wrote.

“Conduit Soccer Academy would like to confirm that at no point has Mr Chamunorwa Chiwanza been a member of Conduit Soccer Academy.

“Mr Chamunorwa Chiwanza has also never held any position at Conduit Soccer Academy since its inception.

“Should you require further information please do not hesitate to contact the undersigned treasurer.’’

Former Zimbabwe Women Football chairperson, Mavis Gumbo, also wrote to Chiwanza, in his capacity as chairman of the ZWF Rebranding and Fundraising Committee, on January 19, 2011.

“We hereby request your esteemed office to facilitate the provision of financial and material resources towards the tour of Germany by the Senior National Women’s team tour of Germany from 22 July 2011 to 6 August 2011,’’ Gumbo wrote.

“The tour is part of the exchange programme between Zimbabwe and Germany and should see the teams training and playing friendly matches in Germany.

“Please be advised that the resources mobilised by your committee will cover the costs of airfares, allowances, contingency and apparel.’’ Repeated efforts to get a comment from Chiwanza were unfruitful yesterday with the businessman saying he had been advised by his legal team not to discuss the issue in the media.

“I think you guys will appreciate that this is a sensitive issue, where my character has been assassinated, and my legal team have said I should not discuss it in the media and I hope you can bear with me.’’