FORMER Zifa president Vincent Pamire has laughed off the ban imposed on him by Phillip Chiyangwa, describing the beleaguered domestic football boss as a dictator who does not want to accept that his time in office is over.
BY DANIEL NHAKANISO
Pamire — together with other former Zifa presidents, who include Trevor Carelse-Juul, Rafik Khan and former board member Eusebio Maseko — were “banned from all football activities” on Friday after holding a meeting with local football stakeholders to challenge the legitimacy of the current Zifa leadership led by Chiyangwa.
“I don’t know how he (Chiyangwa) can ban a former president; we are stakeholders according to our constitution and life honorary members of Zifa,” Pamire told Standardsport in an interview yesterday.
“In any case, his term of office has expired, how can you be banned by someone who is no longer in office? He has no authority to ban us and what he is doing does not build sport.”
Pamire’s sentiments came as the banning spree by the under-fire Zifa leadership continued with the football mother body announcing that it had provisionally expelled former Zifa presidential aspirant Leslie Gwindi, former Zifa board member Fungai Chihuri and Warriors legend John Phiri yesterday.
The trio are part of the steering committee made up of former Zifa presidents and football stakeholders who met with Sports and Recreation Commission [SRC] board chairman Edward Siwela on Friday, accusing Chiyangwa of violating the Zifa constitution by clinging to power following the expiry of his term of office on March 29.
Pamire likened Chiyangwa’s actions to former Ugandan dictator Idi Amin and Iraqi despot Saddam Hussein, who refused to cede power even when it was clear they were no longer in control.
“All dictators do that (cling to power). Remember Idi Amin, when he was running away and crossing the Nile he kept on saying tell them I’m still their leader when he had run away. Saddam Hussein was in a hole, but he kept on saying I’m president of Iraq when he was in the hole,” Pamire said in reference to Chiyangwa’s refusal to step down.
“Dictators are like that, it’s their tendencies. when you tell them to do the right thing, they tend to take it personal, it’s unfortunate, but it won’t deter us. All we have said is that you should follow the constitution, your term of office expired and it ends there. We have put a roadmap to the Sports Commission to salvage Zifa and it’s as simple as that.”
The veteran administrator said contrary to reports in some sections of the media, the SRC were in agreement with the former Zifa presidents that the Zifa constitution had been violated.
“We went to the Sports Commission yesterday (Friday) and met its board chairman. we all agreed that the constitution had been violated and that we call Zifa to order,” he said.
“The Sports Commission agrees with us 100% that we have to follow the constitution, simple. we are not mentioning names, but if you think you’re popular just go for elections and people will vote for you.”
The ban on the trio of Pamire, Caresle-Juul and Khan comes after they wrote to world football governing body Fifa informing them of their intention to “urgently step in and restore constitutionalism and order at Zifa”.
“We, the elders of Zimbabwean football, have extensively consulted and come to an agreement that there is no option other than to step in and regularise football in Zimbabwe without government interference as per Fifa statutes,” read part of the letter, which was also signed by another former Zifa president, Leo Mugabe.