Dube challenges suspension
HIGHLANDERS and Premier Soccer League chairman Peter Dube has challenged his suspension, saying Zifa president Phillip Chiyangwa erred in having him put on ice.
Dube opposed his suspension through his lawyers Phulu and Ncube Legal Practitioners, who are also Highlanders’ legal representatives.
They argue that Zifa blundered by suspending Dube, a member of the national association’s executive committee without informing him about a meeting that led to his suspension.
They said Dube’s constitutional rights were infringed upon as he was not subjected to a fair hearing.
In a letter dated November 18 and addressed to Zifa, Dube’s lawyers said: “The assertion that our client violated Article 35 (3) of the Zifa constitution is without legal basis. The said Article simply states that, ‘Any member of the Executive Committee must withdraw from debate and from taking a decision if there is any risk or possibility of a conflict of interests.’ A literal interpretation and analysis of this will show that there is no part in it whatsoever that states that nonrecusal of oneself in accordance to such is an offence. Our client cannot be suspended for committing an offence that does not exist.”
The PSL was last week plunged into a leadership crisis following Zifa’s move to suspend Dube as the relegation-promotion dispute between the mother body and the elite league took an ugly turn.
Zifa alleged that Dube contravened Article 1.15 of Schedule 11 of the Zifa Rules and Regulations by unlawfully interrupting formal proceedings during a Zifa congress. He is also charged with attempting to incite chaos by urging PSL club representatives to denounce lawfully made resolutions.
According to some Zifa councillors, Dube did not incite chaos at the meeting, instead he was asked by Chiyangwa to explain PSL’s position with regards to promotional playoffs which regional chairpersons were and are still against.
They claim that the association vicepresident Omega Sibanda had to calm the councillors who were disturbing Dube while he was in the middle of his presentation and even threatened to eject some of the rowdy councillors from the meeting if they kept disrupting the PSL chairman.
The councillors said since the meeting was recorded on video, Zifa leadership risk being left with egg on their faces as Dube never incited chaos.
Phulu and Ncube said Zifa’s executive committee overstepped boundaries when they suspended their client for violations allegedly committed during congress.
“The Congress and the Executive are different altogether; hence one fails to understand how then you found it proper to suspend our client for an alleged congress violation using the executive committee’s procedure. The executive has no right to suspend our client for an alleged violation that does not concern it. The implication therefore becomes that you erred in interpreting your constitution, resorting to the executive committee procedure and not the congress. We make reference to the word ‘alleged’ because the offence you allege has been committed does not even exist in your constitution,” reads part of the letter.
They went on to say that considering that Dube is a delegate of the PSL, only the league could recall him from Zifa, not the executive.
They said Zifa’s letter of suspension directed to Dube “is of no value” and is full of unsubstatntiated claims which lack substantive detail such that one feels that a suspension without real cause will suffice.
They said Zifa’s executive committee who also accused Dube of attending the congress as a Highlanders’ representative, while he is a Zifa executive committee member had no right to suspend their client.
“All it can do (executive committee) is call for a vote of no confidence, which will require the holding of an executive committee meeting in terms of Article 33 of the Zifa constitution. In this regard, by suspending our client you are stretching beyond your limit and powers; which is unprofessional.”
— @ZililoR HIGHLANDERS secretary-general Emmet Ndlovu has been appointed to assume the duties of club chief executive officer, filling the gap left by Ndumiso Gumede. Zifa president Philip Chiyangwa suspended Gumede alongside club chairman Peter Dube who he said had violated sections of the national association’s constitution through alleged acts of misconduct. Acting Highlanders chairman Modern Ngwenya told journalists at yesterday’s press conference that the club’s top hierarchy agreed to appoint Ndlovu, who has in the past assumed secretariat duties. “I would like to introduce Ndlovu who will be assuming the role of CEO. He is not acting CEO but we met as executive and board and decided that their roles are similar,” Ngwenya said. Ndlovu said he will hold fort while the club’s legal team attends to Gumede and Dube’s bans. “I will be assuming the role of CEO as our team handles the ban. I’m still the secretary general and not acting CEO,” said Ndlovu. — @ZililoR HIGHLANDERS’ coach Erol Akbay is still very bitter about how his team was treated by overzealous FC Platinum marshals last Sunday that saw the Bulawayo giants being barred from entering Mandava Stadium for more than 40 minutes.
It was only after a group of Highlanders supporters teamed up and assisted the two Highlanders marshals to forcibly push open the main entry gate which is behind the VIP, where the FC Platinum bus came through, that the Bosso bus finally drove in, less than an hour before kickoff.
As all this was happening, on-duty police officers were doing nothing about it while one detail was seen on video trying to push a Highlanders marshal away but the latter resisted.
“FC Platinum is a very big club and for them to do that was really stupid of them. I never expected it and still have no idea how they could do that. Those are the little things that piss off supporters,” said Akbay.
He said such actions were bad for the game and certainly to the sponsors and the country since the match was beamed live on SuperSport.
“Why did they behave like that, was it because they were afraid of us, which I think is the only logical reason? It remains though a very stupid thing to do. I can tolerate what Chapungu did because it is a small club although they too (Chapungu) ended up fighting among themselves which is something else but for FC Platinum, I am still confused why they did it,” said the Dutch coach who, however, said the unfortunate entry skirmishes had nothing to do with their 3-0 loss on the field of play.
Highlanders have since written a letter of complaint to the Premier Soccer League, according to the acting chairman Morden Ngwenya.
“We are now waiting for a response from the PSL,” said Ngwenya.
Meanwhile, the PSL has already issued a statement condemning the violence that took place at Mandava Stadium, saying such ills have no place in the game.
“Perpetrators of violence should be brought to book so that justice is served and violence is eradicated from our football. It is worrying that cases of violence and hooliganism have been on the rise this season,” said the PSL in a statement released by its media and liaison officer Kudzai Bare.
Bosso have this season been fined a total of $17 625.