Dube chal­lenges sus­pen­sion

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Sport - Ricky Zililo Sikhum­buzo Moyo

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.

— @skhu­moyo2000

Peter Dube

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