Makomborero Mutimukulu, Harare Bureau
EMOTIONS ran high at Zifa’s Annual General Meeting in Harare yesterday with the 58-member assembly differing on a plethora of issues.
Members of local football’s highest decision making body – the Zifa assembly – could not find each other despite hours of deliberation and agreed to seek the guidance of Fifa. The flash point came as the councillors discussed how long Phillip Chiyangwa still has to serve as association president.
Chiyangwa and his backers argued that he still has two more years at the helm after being elected in December 2015. However, some fiery councillors accused the property mogul of trying to wiggle his way out of an election they insist is due this year.
For long, Chiyangwa appeared to be readying for an election this year. He even spoke about how confident he was of winning the polls. But the 59-year-old administrator appeared to hit a Damascene moment last week. He argued that the Zifa constitution stipulates that a president has to serve a four-year term once elected.
Chiyangwa backed up his claim by referring to Article 38 (i) of the soccer governing body’s constitution which states that, “The president shall be elected for a period of four years. His mandate shall begin after the end of the congress which elected him.”
However, some Zifa councillors shot back saying the December 5, 2015 meeting which elected Chiyangwa as local football’s number one was not a congress, but at extraordinary general meeting.
Debate raged like a veld fire until it was resolved that the counsel of world soccer governing body Fifa be sought. A proposal by the central region to amend a clause which requires the electoral committee to be in office for six months before getting down to business sailed through.
It was backed by 46 of the 58 councillors who were in attendance and could see the election season starting in a fortnight with the Area Zone elections and culminate with the board elections on June 30.
But it all depends on what Fifa will say regarding the contentious elections issue. Earlier on the Zifa executive was grilled about a queer arrangement which sees the association paying $6 000 a month for renting a portion of Chiyangwa’s Harare offices.
The suspension of former Premier Soccer League chairman Peter Dube was lifted in the equally tempestuous morning session. Speaking to our Harare Bureau after the meeting Chiyangwa said he was at peace although he was a bit under the weather.
“Every Sunday you guys write that the Zifa councillors are fighting but do you see anyone injured here? We are laughing and hugging. But on more serious note we are a family, yes here and there we disagree but we always find each other. This meeting saw us having a frank and honest discussion. I had to be here because we all love Zimbabwean football, the doctors said ‘no rest, you have a fever’ but this was important. We now await to hear what Fifa says and we will be guided accordingly.”