Sikhumbuzo Moyo in Cairo, Egypt
ZIFA has dared Norton MP Temba Mliswa to effect a citizen’s arrest on its officials upon arrival from the Total Africa Cup of Nations.
In a 2 000-word statement released by the board yesterday, Zifa also accused journalist Hope Chizuzu of spreading malicious lies about the operations of the association via social media, which it claimed was having a negative impact on the Warriors ahead of their encounter with Uganda this evening.
“We specifically note with concern unfounded attacks by some few individuals on social media and other platforms, who include one Hope Chizuzu, a staffer at the City of Harare’s PR department, and most recently uninformed outbursts by Member of Parliament for Norton Hon Temba Mliswa.
“Most worrying to Zifa is the negativity that their outbursts, comments and stories have on the bigger national cause of fundraising for the Warriors who are doing duty in Egypt and the negative influences these irresponsible articles may have on the team,” reads the statement.
The association said it was particularly concerned that Mliswa had chosen to jump onto the accusation train without trying to verify the claims of misappropriation of funds and has since threatened to effect a citizen’s arrest on officials, calling his actions unparliamentary.
“It is also disappointing that Hon Mliswa has also jumped into the fray without seeking to satisfy himself with the available evidence.
“He has even claimed he will issue out citizen arrest on Zifa officials on these untested allegations. As a lawmaker, one would expect the legislator to be fully conversant with the laws of the land.
“Zifa is well prepared for his threats. Maybe by alleging, trying and convicting Zifa, Hon Mliswa is himself telling the nation that all the allegations that have previously been levelled against him, including taking bribes, the latest one being the US$400 000 extortion attempt, are all true, for laws are universal. Hon Mliswa must be reminded that he is not above the law. Trying to say everything while basically saying nothing is un-parliamentary,” read the statement.
Zifa also dismissed allegations by Chizuzu that Zifa officials converted to their own personal use US$740 000, saying those allegations were baseless and dishonest by persons who are bent on propagating falsehoods.
“Zifa did not breach any law by moving money in anticipation of a threat on the accounts and this is not a crime. It is a fact that Zifa at the material time in January resolved to temporarily move funds away from some accounts while beginning the process of paying these creditors from its alternative resources.
“Out of the abundance of caution, Zifa authorised the temporary movement of funds and authorised the payment of a creditor who was threatening to garnish funds meant for football development. As soon as the creditor was fully paid her dues, the funds were moved back into the Zifa bank account.
“These funds were never transacted on in the nine days when they were not in the Zifa account.
“Zifa should be credited for saving funds meant for football development. There are bank statements to prove this point. Sadly, Chizuzu, who has these statements, has chosen to mislead people via social media,” wrote Zifa.
The statement also claims there are external negative forces bent on destabilising the association yet claiming to be for football development.