Fifa probes Southern Region
FIFA has asked Zifa to submit the controversial constitutional amendments proposed by the Southern Region for assessment to see if they are compatible with the world football governing body’s statutes.
Zifa Southern Region board member Tumediso Mokoena Ndlovu, acting Zifa Bulawayo Metropolitan Province chairman Francis Ntuta and Zifa Matabeleland North chairman Denis Tshuma are signatories of the controversial document titled “Proposed amendments to the constitution from the Southern Region” that was sent to the national association.
The region wants 10 articles of the constitution amended, with the biggest being the reduction of PSL delegates to the Zifa congress from 16 to just four.
The Southern Region also wants the Zifa headquarters to be moved to 160 Enterprise Road, Harare — a property owned by Zifa president Philip Chiyangwa. Zifa owns 53 Livingstone Avenue in Harare, which had been used as the association’s headquarters until the Chiyangwa administration took office.
The Southern Region is also lobbying for the return of regional chairpersons to the Zifa board after their automatic seats were abolished by the 2013 constitution that reduced the size of the executive committee to eight.
These proposals have drawn the ire of some sectors of the football community that have questioned the sincerity of the reforms.
Fifa general secretary Fatma Samoura wrote to Zifa on October 25 asking the national association to submit the proposals set to be discussed at today’s Zifa board meeting at Chiyangwa’s 160 Enterprise Road business premises in the capital.
Chronicle Sport is in possession of the letter addressed to Chiyangwa and copied to Caf.
The proposed constitutional reforms are also set to be deliberated on at the Zifa Assembly to be held at a Harare hotel tomorrow.
“It has come to our attention that the Zifa annual general meeting scheduled to take place on 29 October 2016 is allegedly expected to pronounce itself on some constitutional amendments that have been submitted by a member. It appears one of the proposed changes also relates to the composition of the general meeting that has only recently been agreed upon following a dedicated statutes revision process.
“In this context, we kindly ask you to submit to us the proposed changes prior to the holding of the annual general meeting in order to allow us to assess their compatibility with the Fifa Statutes as well as the Fifa standard statutes,” Samoura wrote.
It could not be ascertained by last night whether Zifa had responded to the Fifa letter.
Zifa communications manager Xolisani Gwesela initially evaded questions posed to him by Chronicle Sport asking this reporter to call after 15 minutes. Attempts to later reach him were unsuccessful as his mobile number was unreachable.
Former Zifa president Vincent Pamire took a swipe at councillors pushing for constitutional changes, saying they were misdirecting their energies in pursuit of selfish gains.
“With the Warriors set to represent us at next year’s Afcon finals, this is the time football leaders should use to reunite the nation and hunt for resources. Instead, they are putting too much energy in changing the constitution in pursuit of selfish gains,” said Pamire.
“Believe you me, about 90 percent of these councillors have done nothing for football and are busy fighting when no one is fighting them. I don’t know what kind of evil spirit got into these people, who want to amend the constitution and reverse the strides taken towards safeguarding the document that Fifa dedicated resources to help Zimbabwean football governance,” he said.
Critics argue that all PSL clubs should attend the Zifa Assembly, which is domestic football’s supreme decision-making body.
The PSL is Zifa’s cash cow, as it directly pays levies to Zifa over and above its affiliation fees; something the regions are struggling to do.
Some Southern Region clubs are not in good standing and owe the league affiliation fees. — @ZililoR