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'Zifa Capture' fightback begins, Chiyangwa's sidekick 'spills the beans'

by Staff reporter
18 Aug 2019 at 09:58hrs | Views
EXPELLED ZIifa board member Chamunorwa Chiwanza has challenged his recent dismissal from the football association's excecutive committee before accusing Zifa president Felton Kamambo and acting vice-president Philmon Machana of engaging in gross constitutional violations and financial irregularities at the local football mother body.

Zifa on Thursday announced Chiwanza's expulsion from the association's excecutive committee, where he was the board member in charge of competitions after
finding him "guilty in respect of two charges of fraud and bringing the game of football into disrepute".

Chiwanza's expulsion came after the football association had also handed life bans to former Zifa president and current Cosafa boss Philip Chiyangwa and ex-vice president Omega Sibanda.

The trio were among a host of other transgressions, accused of destabilising the Warriors camp at the recent Afcon finals in Egypt by allegedly influencing players to make boycott threats.

However, in a 19-page letter written to Fifa secretary-general on Friday, Chiwanza dismissed his expulsion as null and void before making damning revelations about the various constitutional violations in the lead-up to his expulsion and the way Zifa funds have been handled.

Chiwanza alleged that his suspension was meant to divert the attention of the Sports and Recreation Commission's recent demand for answers from the Zifa leadership to a number of allegations that had emerged following the Warriors' chaotic Afcon campaign.

"The timing of my suspension was a well-calculated move at a point in time where the Sports and Recreation Commission was demanding accountability from the Zifa executive committee in terms of the Sports and Recreation Commission Act [Chapter 10:27]. My suspension was meant to be a scapegoat (sic) for Mr Kamambo and Mr Machana to shift the blame on me in circumstances where I would not have locus standi to defend myself," Chiwanza charged.

The dismissed former Zifa board member also made damning revelations about the manner in which the football association was handling Fifa and CAF funds, fingering Machana, who is also the board member incharge of finance.

"It is common knowledge that Mr Machana, through his company Conduit Investments (Pvt) Ltd, siphons Fifa and CAF funds from the association under the pretext that they are protecting the association's funds from creditors," Chiwanza wrote.

"Further, Mr Machana's conduct of holding the association's funds in his private company's bank account constitutes an abuse of position and misappropriation of funds according to Article 25.1 as read with Article 28.1 of the Ethics Code. Moreover, their conduct in chartering a plane to Egypt for their families and allies using funds exclusively reserved for the welfare of national team players is gross abuse of their influential positions in Zifa," Chiwanza said.

In his response, Machana, however, dismissed the allegations as a desperate attempt by Chiwanza to divert attention from the real reasons which led to his suspension and subsequent expulsion.

"First of all, it is interesting to note Mr Chiwanza has not bothered to explain if indeed he fraudulently misrepresented his credentials during Zifa elections in black and white that he had gained 8 years' football administration experience from my club called Conduit Soccer Academy and without my knowledge," Machana said

"Up to this day, he skirts around and avoids this simple question. Fact is as proprietor of the club we are not aware of him being a member of my club, so the case starts and ends there. He lied in his nomination form that he had 8 years' experience gained from my club. All other high-sounding words mean nothing. Mr Chiwanza is a football fraud and was so found guilty of this by an independent judicial body."

Machana also responded to the allegations that he has allegedly been using his private account to siphon Fifa funds.

"Mr Chiwanza also indicates that there was a habit of misappropriating Zifa money under the guise of hiding it away from creditors, but deliberately omits to say if the said monies were subsequently misappropriated. The fact is Zifa only moved money once to Conduit under the authority of a [Zifa] board resolution," Machana said.

He added: "It is also fact that the money was credited back unused into a new Zifa account. The bank statements to prove such including those of Conduit have widely been circulated clearly proving nothing was abused used while in Conduit bank account. Fifa has been favoured with these statements as well. Besides that one transaction Zifa never handled such a transaction in 2019 as alleged."

Source - the standard

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