MORRISON Sifelani has vowed he will not leave Dynamos at the mercy of “corrupt and illegitimate people”, claiming political meddling was at the hub of the latest ownership wrangle at the popular Harare club.
The veteran footb
all administrator is bitter that he had been elbowed out of the club even though he had successfully fought a court battle over ownership that gave Dynamos to the private company he heads.
“We have fought for six years to establish our legitimacy and independence,” Sifelani told IndependetSport yesterday.
“It’s criminal, diabolical and satanic that some politicians and illegitimate people with no links to the club just take over what we have sweated for, and we make no apologies for defending the institution of Dynamos.”
Sifelani could not say who the “politicians” are, but IndependentSport reported this year how ruling Zanu PF party officials had muscled their way into the club.
Sifelani said his fight to reclaim control of the club was not inspired by the billions Dynamos rake in from gate-takings.
“There is an attempt by some people who are beneficiaries of the confusion to mislead the public that we’re only interested in the vast sums of gate-takings generated by the club,” he said.
“Far from it, our pre-occupation is to drive out bribery and corruption that is enveloping the club.”
Sifelani referred to a story published in this paper last month about billions of the club’s money that were allegedly invested clandestinely on the money market for the benefit of some officials.
He also claimed that a senior official at the club had recently presented a bill to the club for reimbursement of about $500 million that had not been sanctioned by the executive. It could not be established how the official had incurred the bill.
Sifelani last week sought to have the Premier Soccer League deposit Dynamos’ net earnings from their matches into a suspense account until the leadership dispute was settled.
High Court judge Justice Ben Hlatshwayo, however, on Tuesday dismissed Sifelani’s urgent application to have Dynamos Football Club (Pvt) Ltd that he chairs declared the legitimate owner of the club.
“It is unfortunate that the honourable judge in chambers failed to appreciate the urgency of the application filed by the directors of Dynamos Football Club (Pvt) Ltd as represented by me as its chairman,” Sifelani said.
“Nonetheless the honourable judge has directed that we should proceed by normal application. That should be done.”
He added: “We accept the advice to proceed by way of court application on the basis that we are right and cannot allow unlawful takeover of an institution in which we have invested our time and lives for the past 44 years.”
Richard Chiminya, one of the six directors of Dynamos FC (Pvt) Ltd, is currently running the show at the club in his capacity as chairman of the Board of Trustees that Sifelani said had “no legal status both in law and constitutionally”.
He argued that the Board of Trustees had no power to make executive appointments that only the directors of Dynamos FC (Pvt) Ltd could do since the company’s formalisation in 1999.
Sifelani, who took over from an interim committee on September 29 2004, said Chiminya had masterminded a coup against him when he held a “clandestine” meeting on July 27 2005 with former Dynamos players and “outsiders” — none in the electoral college — without the approval or knowledge of the other directors.
“While we accept that there will always be changes in organisational leadership, we cannot condone regime change by unlawful, fraudulent and criminal measures,” Sifelani said.
“We will therefore, in the defence of the truth, continue to fight until the position is corrected.”
He claimed Chiminya had used political influence to oust him from the club.
Sifelani said he and the four other directors of Dynamos FC (Pvt) Ltd — Bernard Marriott-Lusengo, Owen Chandamale, Robson Rundava and Freddy Mkwesha — had suspended Chiminya after signing affidavits individually and collectively disassociating themselves from the July 27 meeting.
“It was a Judas Iscariot meeting at which Chiminya, aided by external forces, claimed that they had taken over the club and that they had dismissed the executive,” Sifelani said. “Chiminya claimed he had support from higher authorities.”
Local Government minister Ignatious Chombo — said to be related to Chiminya — is now the patron of Dynamos and is often seen at the club’s home matches.
Other senior Zanu PF politicians, including cabinet ministers Webster Shamu and Ray Kaukonde, have been closely linked to Dynamos.
The club’s pre-match meetings are sometimes held at the Zanu PF Harare provincial offices in Fourth Street.
Sources said Zanu PF influence was also used to bring on board Innscor as one of the club’s sponsors this year.
“Some senior Zanu PF officials felt they would not let Dynamos fall into the hands of the opposition, because it was the only club capable of reviving the ruling party’s fortunes as it attracts around 20 000 spectators per game,” a source said.
Chiminya refused to give his side of the story, insisting there was nothing to discuss on Dynamos. At first he had asked this reporter to interview him at his workplace, but later changed his mind.
“I don’t talk to someone I’m not looking at, so come to my office because I want to see you first,” he said.
“But no, there’s nothing to discuss so I won’t say anything. Everything is OK at my team and they are winning, so write about that young man.”