Zifa exorbitant nomination fees: SRC likely to intervene

Edward Siwela

Edward Siwela

Ricky Zililo, Senior Sports Reporter
THE country’s supreme sports body, the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC), is likely to intervene and order Zifa to reduce its exorbitant nomination fees, which is viewed as a mechanism to elbow out other candidates from participating in the association’s forthcoming elections.

Zifa announced the fees for this year’s elections last Friday, with candidates aspiring for the position of the president expected to part with $5 500, while those targeting the vice-presidency will fork out $4 000. Running for a board member position requires one to pay $3 000.

National executive committee members have to pay an additional $200 to get their nomination forms.

Candidates aspiring to be the Premier Soccer League chairman will have to pay a nomination fee of $3 000, with governors parting with $200.

Edward Siwela, the SRC chairman, said they had instructed acting SRC director-general Joseph Muchechetere to seek official communication from Zifa regarding its elections as well as the nomination fees.

Siwela hinted that they could intervene, as they did in the build up to the 2014 elections when they ordered Zifa to reduce their nomination fees, which they had set at $10 000. The SRC allowed them to hold the elections with the amount reduced by half.

“At the moment there isn’t much I can say because we haven’t received anything official from Zifa. We’ve asked Muchechetere to seek official communication from the football association,” said Siwela.

“However, as the SRC, the general comment has always been that the nomination fees must be set at affordable levels. The exorbitant amounts seem to be as if they are mechanisms of segregating candidates. The elections should be a game of ideas, what candidates are offering, more than which candidate affords to stand for an election,” he said.

The Zifa elections are already in motion, with nominations for the PSL, futsal, beach soccer and women’s football, which will culminate in the national elections on December 1, having already opened. The nominations opened on June 1 and will close on June 19.

The women’s football chairperson’s post nomination fees have been set at $500.

Those eyeing office at the grassroots will get the forms at $100, with the election fee set at $250. Provincial elections will be held on September 1, while regions will conduct theirs on October 14. The new Zifa leadership at national level will be elected on December 1.

Joseph Muchechetere

Joseph Muchechetere

The ideal nomination fees are those that were gazetted for the 2010 elections. Then, Zifa candidates for the presidency deposited $500, while for the PSL and regions ($400) was set for aspiring candidates.

Elections for provincial office demanded that aspiring candidates pay $300 and $200 for area zones and districts, but still there was a huge outcry from people that felt the fees were high back then.

Former PSL administrator Chris Sambo was among the first to blast Zifa’s exorbitant fees.

“The first thing that is an im­ped­i­ment in as far as our foot­ball is con­cerned is the nomination fees. Peo­ple who do not have that kind of money will not par­tic­i­pate in the election. What is happening is that we are clos­ing shop to people who don’t have financial re­sources and as a re­sult cred­i­ble peo­ple, cred­i­ble administrators are not be­ing given an opportunity to come into the sys­tem,” said Sambo then.