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Zifa to ban politicians

by Staff reporter
20 Jun 2020 at 08:12hrs | Views
ONE of the main mandates of Zifa's nine-member constitutional review committee is to insert a clause barring politicians from contesting in the association's elections.

Zifa recently unveiled the committee consisting of chairman Kelvin Musimwa, vice-chairman Stanley Chapeta, Martin Kweza, Highlanders chairman Kenneth Mhlophe, Simon Simango, Beaullar Musara, Wilbert Simba, Gilbert Saika and Mehluli Thebe.

Only Musimwa and Simango have a legal background.

The clause barring politicians from contesting in Zifa elections is believed to be targeted at completely shutting the door on former association president Philip Chiyangwa and his deputy Omega Sibanda, who are serving Members of Parliament.

"The idea to review the constitution is a noble one, no qualms with that but it's the sinister motive that is worrying. Once a constitution is crafted with such motives then it becomes flawed and is bound to be defective along the way," said an insider.

Concerns have also been raised about the composition of the committee, as seven of the nine members are all serving councillors with vested interests.

The constitution Zifa is using was crafted by a four-member committee of renowned lawyers Tinofara Hove, Cosmos Mukwesha, Tim Sangarwe and Tawengwa Hara. Omega Sibanda It had been appointed in 2012 by then Zifa president Cuthbert Dube and its draft was ratified in 2013.

Even the last constitutional review committee appointed by the Chiyangwa-led executive comprised people with a legal background and no vested interests. However, if the Musimwa-led committee does a professional job and refuses to be influenced, it has a chance of coming up with a sound and clean document that will address a number of shortcomings in the present constitution. Their first task has to be amending Articles 10 and 21, which deal with membership of Zifa and the number of delegates to an elective congress.

In 2016 a resolution was passed to make the Premier Soccer League a member of Zifa, but no constitutional amendment was made to legalise the resolution. The other decision was to increase the number of PSL teams from 16 to 18, but that too wasn't legalised despite its implementation.

The review committee also has to address the actual issue of voting by scrapping the current policy that allows Zifa area zones chairpersons to vote in provincial elections, regional elections national elections, while a regional chairperson only votes once.

The reporting structure is also vague, according to the current constitution in use, as a provincial chairperson reports directly to the national executive instead of being accountable to the regional executive. A classic example was when the Bulawayo Province leadership by-passed the Southern Region board and wrote directly to the national executive in its dispute with chairman Francis Ntutha.

"Football has evolved a lot since 2013 when the last amendments were done. We would not want a repeat of past mistakes when Zifa went for more than a decade using 1996 statutes, yet the game is ever-changing and our constitution needs to reflect such changes.

"While it is a coincidence that our review committee has been set up during the era of Covid-19 and lockdowns, it could also be a blessing in disguise in that they will also look at the football statutes from a new perspective. We have confidence that the new committee will deliver as it is chaired by an experienced lawyer," said Zifa president Felton Kamambo.

Felton Kamambo Once the committee has collated submissions from affiliates and other stakeholders such as the Sports and Recreation Commission, it is expected to present its draft document to a full congress in September. According to Article 31 of the Zifa constitution, once adopted by the congress, the document will become operational 30 days later.

Source - chronicle