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Chiyangwa banned possible challengers

by Staff reporter
24 Oct 2018 at 06:38hrs | Views
AS the ZIFA election season reaches its business end with focus shifting to the polls to choose a new board, moves to disrupt football governance have returned to haunt some of the protagonists of the Sandton Project whose bans earlier in April make them ineligible to take part in the process.

The nomination process for the board elections including that of the president opened on October 16 and will close on October 30. ZIFA's electoral committee are overseeing the process which started with the July 21-22 elections for the Area zones. However, it has emerged that the key actors of the Sandton Project including the pair of former ZIFA board members Felton Kamambo and Piraishe Mabhena were handed three-year bans in April, a month after taking part in the bid that was thwarted by the Philip Chiyangwa leadership and scoffed at by FIFA.

The Sandton Project - a clandestine mission meant to paralyse operations at ZIFA — exploded in March when the pair of Kamambo and Mabhena quit the association claiming their mandate had expired. Kamambo and Mabhena then called on Chiyangwa and two other principal figures - Omega Sibanda and Philemon Machana to also resign, triggering a severe backlash from the game's other leaders who said the move was meaningless and it would be business as usual at the country's football controlling body.

When Mabhena and Kamambo quit their posts on the ZIFA board the association's leadership noted that it was a co-ordinated attack on the organisation given it came on the same day Trevor Carelse-Juul, a serial campaigner for the top post in domestic football who has lost in the last two occasions, released a statement sharply criticising the state of the game in the country.

Carelse-Juul, the South Africa-based businessman, claimed in his statement the Warriors had "failed" to qualify for the 2018 World Cup finals when the reality is that they never took part in the tournament after being expelled without kicking a ball.

ZIFA leaders then compiled a report dubbed "The Sandton Project" after a number of local football leaders meet in Sandton, Johannesburg, where they hatched a plan to paralyse operations at the Association to trigger elections, as quickly as possible, where they hope to install a new leadership.

It was after that report that both Kamambo and Mabhena were each handed three-year bans as did other actors who included former ZIFA bosses Vincent Pamire, Rafik Khan and Carelse-Juul. However, Kamambo tried in vain yesterday to register to participate in the December 1 polls for the board before being reportedly reminded of the ban that was handed down in April.

"Pursuit to your resignation letter dated March 28, 2018 the Executive Committee of ZIFA met to consider your position.

"It was noted that your purported resignation is at law not legally valid as you had actually ceased to attend three board meetings without being excused.

"Further the extremely serious reports of abuse of office for sexual favours towards orphaned and vulnerable members of the Mighty Warriors is subject of investigation.

"Consequently the Executive Committee resolved to provisionally you from association football activities for a period of three years.

"You can participate in association football after confirmation of your full rehabilitation and clearance by the law enforcement agencies and association," wrote ZIFA chief executive Joseph Mamutse on April 19.

Mabhena was also charged for his alleged role in the abandoned December 10, 2017 ZIFA Congress. The Electoral committee will after the October 30 close of nominations meet to determine the eligibility of the candidates in line with the electoral code.

Source - the herald