Former Zifa CEO Jonathan Mashingaidze has challenged the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) to swiftly move to avert what he refers to as “election fraud” by Zifa president Phillip Chiyangwa ahead of the polls set for December this year.
By Sports Reporter
In a letter dated July 2, addressed to SRC board chairman Edward Siwela, Mashingaidze highlighted irregularities that have been allegedly carefully “orchestrated” by Chiyangwa and his executive to ensure they hold on to power beyond December.
According to Mashingaidze — an aspiring candidate for a position in the Zifa national executive committee who is currently serving a Zifa “life ban” — the culmination of the prevailing situation would be a “historic legal showdown”.
“The following issues explain the 2018 Zifa electoral fraud-in-waiting. The appointing authority for the Zifa electoral committee, a body solely responsible for overseeing the holding of all Zifa elections for a period of four years, slept on duty and could not appoint the Zifa electoral committee in 2017,” Mashingaidze wrote to the SRC.
“The previous Zifa electoral committee, which superintended the Zifa elections of 2014, was appointed in 2013 and its term of office expired in March 2017, whereupon a new committee was to be appointed to oversee the 2018 to 2021 elections. That was deliberately not done by individuals who wanted to illegally extend the tenure to 2019.
“The so-called Zifa electoral committee which was illegally appointed in February 2018 was not properly constituted on account of the following reasons:
“It was appointed out of time for the 2018 elections, which constitutionally were supposed to have been held by no later March 29, 2018.
“The names of the so-called Zifa electoral committee were only made public in May 2018, 60 days after the expiry of the constitutional life of the Zifa executive committee and Zifa congress.
“The so-called Zifa electoral committee is made up of relatives and associates of Mr Phillip Chiyangwa and [Zifa vice-president] Omega Sibanda, a serious violation of the Zifa Electoral Code Article 3.4, which seeks to preserve the impartiality of the electoral committee. Evidence to this is abundant and available.”
Mashingaidze pointed out that Chiyangwa and Sibanda’s participation in the general elections set for July 30, 2018 was in breach of the Zifa and Fifa statutes, Article 3 and 14.
The letter also touched on the “outrageous” election fees gazetted by Zifa without input from the football fraternity, SRC and Fifa.
The bone of contention is over the association’s presidential election fees set at a $5 500, while $4 000 is required to stand for the Zifa vice-presidency and $3 000 for Zifa board member aspirants.
Mashingaidze also accused Chiyangwa of doctoring the nomination form so as to disqualify key potential challengers.
“The standard nomination form has been doctored by Mr Chiyangwa’s committee at the behest of Mr Chiyangwa and Sibanda in a bid to ostracise the critical mass of football whose members have either been slapped with indefinite suspensions from football or life bans,” said Mashingaidze.
“Contentious clauses have been inserted on the form, making it ‘mandatory’ that anyone with previous football conviction must have served five years of rehabilitation by the time they seek election.
“Mr Chairman [Siwela], all the prospective candidates for the 2018 Zifa elections will soon be approaching the courts to stop this electoral fraud forthwith and have a free and credible electoral process obtain under the supervision of the SRC and Fifa.”
Early this year Chiyangwa declared that there would be no elections for his position or the executive committee since they had only served half of their four-year term.
However, Fifa ordered an election to be conducted this year.
It is understood that the SRC had given Zifa until June 25, 2018 to respond to charges of document non-compliance and disrespect for authority.
Efforts to contact Chiyangwa were fruitless.