Latest News Editor's Choice

News / National

Banda questions timing of suspension

by Staff reporter
25 Jan 2019 at 08:15hrs | Views
SUSPENDED Zifa vice-president Gift Banda yesterday questioned the timing of his suspension, which came after the embattled association received funds from world football governing body Fifa.

Banda was suspended last week for "unilaterally" making changes to national teams' technical structures when he was acting Zifa president.

Banda announced that Rahman Gumbo and Lloyd Mutasa had been relieved of their duties as assistant coaches in the Warriors' technical set up and replaced by Bongani Mafu and Tonderai Ndiraya.

At a meeting held on January 16 in Harare, the Zifa board resolved to suspend Banda for bringing the game of football into disrepute, accusing him of unilaterally making changes to the technical teams without their input.

Responding to the suspension for the first time, Banda yesterday held a media briefing in Bulawayo where he insinuated that a disagreement over disbursement of the Fifa funds could have contributed to his sanction.

"What surprises me is that the animosity arose after Zifa received funds from Fifa in December. The board was supposed to decide how the funds were to be used or distributed. 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," said Banda.

"I committed myself to work for football with the rest of the board and when those 35 councillors voted for me, our duty was to have clean operations and serve football, not self-interest. A forensic audit from 16 December 2018 to date is needed. I believe that such an audit will restore the confidence of all football stakeholders as we seek to develop our game.

"Before we were voted in, the (Zifa) president (Felton Kamambo) spoke about a forensic audit, but that call has since died down. I'm not saying the forensic audit must go beyond the new Zifa board's term, only a month. What I know is that Fifa deposits funds into a Zifa nostro account, but I've never heard any of the Zifa creditors being paid in US dollars. If the money is moved above board, I'm sure the audit can reveal that. There's no harm in calling for an audit because if one is accused of something, the onus is on that person to prove that they are innocent".

He insisted the Zifa board erred by suspending him and said Kamambo was aware of the coaching staff changes that he announced. Banda was adamant that Kamambo was aware of the changes he announced as the two men had deliberated on the issue.

"Prior to his trip to Senegal, Mr Kamambo and I extensively deliberated on the changes and some of the board members were aware of those discussions. How then the president flip-flopped to say he was in the dark surprises me. Note that before he embarked on his trip to Senegal, he came to Bulawayo where we spoke about these changes.

"The decisions I made on behalf of the association as acting president were never meant to bring the game of football into disrepute, but were done in good faith to stabilise our game and strengthen the structures of the national teams. If the board didn't agree with the decisions, then they could have reversed them.

"In as much as I know that two wrongs don't make a right, as the acting president I was following what Mr Kamambo had done before. He announced (Sunday) Chidzambwa's contract extension without any member of the executive knowing; he went on to make a public announcement about Zifa sponsorship and other strategic issues have been revealed by the president without the consent of the Zifa board. He met with former Zifa president Mr Phillip Chiyangwa without the knowledge and approval of the Zifa board and announcements about the two's meetings were made through the media, much to the surprise of the Zifa board," Banda said.

He said Zifa should urgently hold an induction workshop that will clearly spell out duties and roles of each executive committee member.

"What could have contributed to this mess is that the Zifa board has not had a handover takeover with the previous administration in violation of corporate governance best practices. The Zifa executive upon assuming office on the 16th of December 2018 held a board meeting on the 21st of December 2018 without observing the due notice period provided for in the Zifa constitution, rendering the decisions taken on the day unconstitutional, null and void. The appointment of chairpersons for the Zifa standing committees at the first meeting are therefore null and void and as if that were not enough, the committees were never given terms of reference.

"Role conflict and confusion characterised the new board's first 30 days in office as a result of not having been inducted by the SRC and Fifa on the roles and responsibilities of Zifa board members. "A Zifa board member has been handling Zifa financial matters without the approval of the Zifa board and in the absence of a proper induction, board members are likely to drift in different directions," Banda said.

Kamambo could not be reached for comment yesterday, as both his mobile phone numbers were unreachable.

Source - chronicle
More on: #Banda, #Zifa, #Kamambo