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Gift Banda calls for Zifa audit

by Staff reporter
10 Jun 2020 at 07:42hrs | Views
YESTERDAY marked exactly 507 days since the Zifa executive committee suspended its vice-president Gift Banda over a litany of charges, chiefly allegedly usurping their powers by unilaterally making senior national team appointments.

On January 8, 2019, Banda in the absence of Zifa president Felton Kamambo, who had gone to Senegal for the Caf awards, announced the appointment of Tonderayi Ndiraya and Bongani Mafu as Warriors' assistant coaches to Sunday Chidzambwa. He appointed the duo to replace Lloyd Mutasa and Rahman Gumbo.

The appointments were made with the Warriors just a game away from another dance at the Afcon finals. Other appointments he announced were of Dr Nick Munyonga and his campaign manager for the 2018 elections Eddie Chivero.

However, the appointments were rendered null and void by the Zifa board, which then chose to suspend him on January 18. Banda though chose to sing a different tune, claiming that all the animosity arose when he called for a forensic audit of the of Zifa funds in the one month that the new board had been in office.

"What surprises me is that the animosity arose after Zifa received funds from Fifa in December. The board was supposed to decide how funds were to be used or distributed. Money came from Fifa into our account, but I have never heard anyone from the Zifa creditors who has been paid their money from the nostro account. I refuse to have my image tainted by operating outside the legal framework like using the funds outside an open market.

"For the general public I wish there could be a forensic audit for the one month we took over. We can engage stakeholders who are willing to finance the audit as I know Zifa would say there is no money for that. The audit will help clean ourselves as an association," Banda told the media following his suspension.

But the question that arises is how sincere is Banda that funds could have been abused? If he is so convinced that funds were misappropriated and he is being vilified for calling for good corporate governance, why doesn't he lobby the people that voted him into office, the councillors, and ask them to stand in his corner in his pursuit for justice?

A precedence was set and is on record in our football when former Zifa vice-president Omega Sibanda was suspended by Cuthbert Dube when he led a revolt against accusing Dube of financial mismanagement.

In May 2015, Sibanda was suspended together with executive member in charge of finance Ben Gwarada and six other councillors. But instead of lying low and doing nothing about his suspension, Sibanda went back to the councillors and pleaded his case, convincing them that he was just a victim of corporate governance.

The councillors saw sense in his argument and a full revolt against the Zifa leadership was set in motion. On October 2, 2015, on the eve of an extraordinary general congress, Dube announced his departure from the game.

So why does Banda, who has been cleared, albeit on a technicality, by the Zifa appeals committee, not take his case to the Zifa councillors if he is so convinced that he is a victim. Thirty-five councillors voted for Banda, two more than those that cast their ballot for Kamambo.

Banda's acquittal though hasn't been confirmed, as the Zifa legal team is arguing that he remains suspended, while the appeals committee led by Harare lawyer Stead Kachere maintain that he should be reinstated to his position. But as Banda might rightfully be aware, the power lies with the electorate and if he is convinced of his innocence, let him convince the Zifa electorate.

Source - chronicle