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Mnangagwa blessed Chiyangwa life ban?

by Staff reporter
15 Aug 2019 at 07:20hrs | Views
ZIFA president Felton Kamambo and board member responsible for finance Philemon Machana have formally apologised to President Mnangagwa for the unfortunate events that rocked the Zimbabwe camp during the Warriors' ill-fated Total Africa Cup of Nations campaign in Egypt in June.

The two met President Mnangagwa and also thanked him for the critical role he played in setting up, leading and galvanising the Warriors' fundraising campaign effort. President Mnangagwa donated US$200 000 and pledged a further $300 000 during the fundraising launch in June.

Zifa yesterday handed its former president Phillip Chiyangwa and his vice Omega Sibanda life bans for "bringing Zimbabwean football into disrepute". Chiyangwa, who was booted out of office last year, is accused of submitting an incomplete bid document to host this year's Cosafa Cup.

"The Zifa presidium comprising the Zifa president Felton Kamambo and acting vice-president Phillemon Machana met the President of Zimbabwe, ED Mnangagwa in line with the resolution of the full Zifa executive committee to request for such a meeting.

"The presidium thanked the President for the critical role he had played in setting up, leading and galvanising the fundraising campaign effort. Zifa is grateful that in spite of the embarrassment that His Excellency ED Mnangagwa may have endured as a result of the unfortunate events during the Africa Cup of Nations, the President of Zimbabwe upon getting a full briefing and apology from the Zifa presidium, accepted such and even jovially and in fatherly-style proffered suggestions on President Mnangagwa how Zifa can better manage the sport and such tournaments going forward," said Zifa chief executive officer, Joseph Mamutse in a statement yesterday.

The association said it shall forever remain indebted to the "wisdom they got from the State President and wish to inform the nation that the association has already begun implementing the advice which we got from the highest office".

"In the same vein we wish to inform the nation that His Excellency agreed and authorised the release of part of the residual Felton Kamambo resources from the Afcon fundraising initiatives to service outstanding commitments of the association, namely the Chan and Cosafa women tournaments. We are also grateful to the fundraising committee, especially the committed chairperson Hon Kazembe Kazembe for also supporting this.

"We inform the nation that what is left now is the process of the payments by the relevant organs of the committee directly to beneficiaries as has been the norm," reads the statement.

The Cosafa president, Chiyangwa allegedly misrepresented to the southern African regional soccer body that he had secured government backing to host the tournament, which later turned out not to be correct.

"Mr Phillip Chiyangwa was banned for life for bringing Zimbabwean football into disrepute through the 2019 Cosafa Cup bid debacle wherein he unilaterally submitted an incomplete bid document without getting the government guarantee and Zifa board resolution which ended up attracting a ban from Cosafa where Mr Chiyangwa is the president," Zifa said in a statement.

South Africa ended up hosting the tournament and Zifa are now facing a ban and a hefty fine for reneging on the agreement.

Cosafa last month suspended the national senior men's team, the Warriors, from competing at next year's regional tournament after Zifa failed to comply with a deadline to commit to hosting the 2021 edition of the competition.

Cosafa has also fined Zimbabwe US$200 000, which should be paid before end of day today or risk a permanent ban from participating in all the regional body's competitions.

Zifa have tried unsuccessfully to recall Chiyangwa from Cosafa.

"Zifa are, however, appealing on the ban and still pursuing their case with Cosafa to have Chiyangwa revoked, unlike some sentiments Zifa advises the nation that this case is still alive and believes Chiyangwa will have his day in Cosafa soon," the association added.

On Sibanda, Zifa said they were banning Chiyangwa's former vice-president for "his incessant interference with Zifa judicial bodies during which he sought to influence the association's lawyer to throw away a Zifa electoral case, in a bid to foment turmoil in Zimbabwean football".

The ban, which comes into immediate effect, means Chiyangwa and Sibanda will no longer be allowed entry into all Zifa-sanctioned matches played in Zimbabwe, football meetings, conferences and any football-related activity in the country.

On a busy day for the Zifa's information department, they also announced that they had expelled board member Chamu Chiwanza.

"The Zifa disciplinary (committee) met on August 14, 2019 and deliberated on a matter involving executive committee member Chamu Chiwanza. Chiwanza was found guilty in respect of two charges of fraud and bringing the game of football into disrepute. Consequently, the disciplinary committee verdict is that Chiwanza be expelled from being an executive committee member with immediate effect," Zifa said in a statement yesterday.

Chiwanza was accused of electoral fraud, threatening a member of the Zifa congress and destabilising Warriors camp at the Africa Cup of Nations among a host of charges.

Source - chronicle - newsday