By Muziwethu Hadebe
Suspended ZIFA Vice President Gift Banda says that he was unconstitutionally suspended from the month old new ZIFA board.
Speaking to the media for the first time on his suspension at his business offices in Bulawayo on Thursday, the former Njube Sundowns Football Club Director and former Deputy Mayor of Bulawayo; referred to Article 33(3) of the ZIFA constitution which says;
“The (ZIFA) president shall cause the agenda to be prepared. Each member of the executive committee is entitled to propose items for inclusion on the agenda, the members of the executive committee must submit the points they wish to be included in the agenda for the meeting to the general secretariat, at least SEVEN days before the meeting, the agenda must be sent out to the members of the executive committee, at least, 14 days before the meeting”.
Banda said that the above provisions were violated by the ZIFA leadership.
“It must be noted that the reason for my suspension was that I announced the changes to the Senior National Teams when I was acting-President of the Association, of which the President himself, Mr Kamambo was aware of the subject, Prior to his trip to Senegal, Mr Kamambo and myself extensively deliberated on the changes and some of the board members were aware of those discussions, how the President then flip-flopped to say he was in the dark surprises me as he came down to Bulawayo before his trip to Senegal and we spoke about these changes”, Banda said.
Banda said his move was not different from that of Kamambo who had announced that ZIFA were retaining the services of Head coach Sunday Chidzambwa as well as announcing National team sponsors without the knowledge of the ZIFA board.
Chidzambwa’s contract expired on 31 December 2018 and has not been renewed despite the announcement by Kamambo, according to Banda.
Asked if a delay in their separate announcements would have saved the association from the situation it finds itself in Banda said,
“I think so, but as the leader of the association if you leave someone acting the first thing you do is to ask for a report or update, I kept updating the President leading to my announcement of the changes in the coaching structure”.
He said it was important for FIFA and the SRC to conduct an induction process for the new board so that the roles of the board members are spelt out clearly as he maintained that at the moment the roles were not very clear resulting in the current confusion.
The Lobengula-Njube MP said it was disturbing that his suspension followed his querying of how the funds received from FIFA were to be handled as he preferred the normal financial system in the country to uphold best practices.
“What surprises me is that the animosity arose after ZIFA received funds from FIFA in December. How the funds were distributed is something for another day, but I refuse to have my image tainted by operating outside the legal framework like using the funds outside an open market”, he said.
Banda called for a forensic audit for the period that they have been in office in order to establish how the FIFA funds were distributed.
“ There is nothing wrong with suspecting a wrong doing, what is important is to prove those fears wrong, I believe such an audit will restore the confidence of all football stakeholders as we seek to develop our game”, said Banda in his closing statement.