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Zifa selectively applying rules to bar Gift Banda from contesting

by Staff reporter
07 Nov 2018 at 07:02hrs | Views
ZIFA is alleged to be selectively applying the association's rules to bar Gift Banda from contesting the vice-presidency position as well as denying him an opportunity to appeal against his disqualification from the race.

Zifa chief executive officer Joseph Mamutse shut the door on Banda yesterday by throwing out his notice to appeal written to association on Monday.

"We acknowledge receipt of your letter dated 5 November 2018 and contents have been noted. We regret to advise you that we are unable to release this information to an individual who is currently serving rehabilitation and as long as the rehabilitation has not been completed, the association cannot entertain you on any football activity, elections included," wrote Mamutse.

In his notice to appeal, Banda had, among other things, requested for the association's account number to deposit the appeal fee, a copy of the Zifa electoral code, the association's constitution as well as Fifa's electoral code.

He demanded that Zifa provide him with minutes and a register of the Zifa electoral committee meeting that barred him from contesting last Friday.

The Zifa electoral committee chaired by Vusilizwe Vuma barred Banda from contesting, saying he was improperly nominated, failed the integrity test and had not rehabilitated from a ban lifted in 2012.

Banda, a former Zifa Southern Region chairman, who beat incumbent Zifa vice-president Omega Sibanda in the regional elections in 2010, believes the electoral committee erred by denying him a chance to contest Sibanda for the Zifa post, as he is in possession of a letter stating that his suspension was lifted in 2012.

Former Zifa chief executive officer Jonathan Mashingaidze confirmed that Banda was cleared by the association in 2012.

Mashingaidze, who was chief executive officer in 2012, said the Cuthbert Dube-led board instructed him to lift Banda's ban after a review.

"Those things (letters notifying lifting of suspensions) were in the files and I wrote to the appellants. Banda, in asking for the review of his ban, had also copied Fifa and SRC contesting that the matter wasn't handled well. In the interest of moving on, the then board reviewed and ruled that he was free to partake in football activities and that is why when he became the deputy mayor of Bulawayo (in 2013), he was involved in football, with Zifa asking him to help identify land for the association in the city," Mashingaidze told Chronicle Sport yesterday.

"Actually he is not the only one who was cleared. That information is there and had a proper hand over been done, those in office now would have known about those whose suspensions were lifted back then," he said.

As an ex-officio of the electoral committee, Mashingaidze said all the association's organs are guided by the Zifa constitution.

"When I was CEO, we never had that issue of rehabilitation because it meant that a person would have been subjected to double punishment. From a layman's point of view, it's contestable because it's not on Zifa statutes and Fifa statutes. The integrity test was done by the police, who did fingerprints screening to check if the candidates were clean," Mashingaidze said.

Banda has vowed to take Zifa head-on and yesterday responded to Mamutse's letter, which he said infringed on his constitutional rights.

"I have noted with regret that you have since usurped the mandate of the Zifa electoral appeals committee for reasons best known to yourself. Your conduct borders on violation of my constitutional rights as a citizen of Zimbabwe. You have chosen to unilaterally deny me my right to appeal against a ruling by the Zifa electoral committee.

"I, by copy of this letter, hereby advise you that I am now approaching higher offices on the one hand and the courts on the other," read Banda's response letter.

He noted that issues he raised can be questioned by the appeals committee and is of the view that since Zifa accepted his money to collect and submit his nomination forms, they ought to hear his appeal.

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Source - chronicle
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