ZIMBABWE Football Association president Cuthbert Dube’s reign finally came to an end yesterday after councillors fired him together with two other board members.
By Brian Nkiwane
His deputy Omega Sibanda took over the reins in an acting capacity with immediate effect. Dube was fired by the Zifa councillors’ Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) held in Harare.
The meeting took less than an hour. Of the 58 Zifa councillors, 30 attended the meeting, to make all decisions binding as they constituted a quorum. Constitutionally, only a third of the councillors are needed to constitute a quorum.
Board members Fungai Chihuri and Tavengwa Hara were also kicked out while John Phiri and board member Bernard Gwarada (Finance), who were some of Dube’s vocal critics, survived the chop.
Tension engulfed the venue when the secretary of the councillors committee Piraishe Mabhena, who is also the Eastern Region boss, announced Dube’s expulsion.
According to Mabhena, the congress made eight resolutions which he said would immediately be communicated to the world football governing body Fifa, as well as CAF.
“The resolution of this meeting will be communicated to Fifa and CAF tonight. We should take back football to where it belongs,” said Mabhena.
The resolution that ousted Dube said; “The congress unanimously agreed to revoke the mandate of Zifa president Dube with immediate effect as per article 22 sub section of the Zifa constitution.”
It was also resolved that Hara should be removed from the board with 27 members voting in favour, while two members voted against. One member abstained.
The board also unanimously resolved that board member Chihuri be ejected.
The other resolution was to have national teams participate in Fifa and CAF sanctioned competitions only when there was specific funding for that particular tournament.
Giving the background that led to the meeting, Mabhena said they felt belittled by the board after it turned down their requests as councillors to meet them to find a lasting solution to problems affecting football in this country.
“We have been following events. We then requested for an Extra Ordinary Meeting and we were told that Zifa had no capacity to hold two meetings as we were scheduled to have an AGM on April 25 where all these issues would be ironed out. We were surprised to be served with a letter informing us that the AGM was moved to June 27 and this is when we decided to come up with this meeting,” Mabhena said.
After receiving letters notifying them about the June 27 AGM, the councillors wrote to Zifa informing them about their intention to hold the meeting, which then fired Dube, Chihuri and Hara.
“Constitutionally, after notifying them about the EGM, it was supposed to be done within 90 days, so after realising that the new date, June 27, was way after 90 days, we decided to have this meeting,” Mabhena explained.
Councillors who attended the meeting castigated Zifa chief executive officer Jonathan Mashingaidze for trying to block the meeting.
Mashingaidze allegedly bombarded councillors with letters warning them against attending yesterday’s meeting. He allegedly made a follow-up by means of telephone calls to make sure that the meeting would not have a quorum.
The meeting went ahead nonetheless.
Other resolutions that were made during the meeting include: instituting a forensic audit, the board to engage creditors, the board to ensure sub-committees and other structures are functional and to engage the government for financial assistance with immediate effect.
The new board now has the mandate to co-opt other members of the board, with the other seat going to Twine Phiri from the local premiership league. There is still much to be done in as far as finalising the status of Miriam Sibanda, who was suspended from the women football.
Efforts to get comment from both Mashingaidze and Dube who is blamed for mismanaging soccer in Zimbabwe were fruitless yesterday.