Dead end for Banda, Kamambo
THE desperate efforts by former Zifa board members, Felton Kamambo and Gift Banda, to run for office in the upcoming elections for the national executive committee were dealt a mortal blow after the Zifa Electoral Appeals Committee yesterday upheld their disqualification in terms of the statutes governing poll.
Aspiring Zifa presidential candidate, Kamambo and Banda, who was eyeing the vice-president’s position were disqualified by the Electoral Committee early this month along with Mlungisi Moyo, who was targeting a position on the board.
Kamambo and Banda were barred from contesting in the December 1 ballot, which is just over a week away, because they failed to meet some of the fundamental constitutional requirements.
The duo was not happy and they approached the Appeals Committee which yesterday upheld that Kamambo was not eligible for Zifa presidency since he was improperly nominated while Banda, who was banned from football in 2013 after he was found guilty in the Centralgate match-fixing scandal, failed to plead his case against the sanction.
The Appeals Committee also upheld that Banda should serve his five-year rehabilitation which completes on December 8.
Addressing journalists in Harare yesterday, chairman of the Zifa Appeals Committee Tafadzwa Mazonde, who was flanked by members of the committee Herbert Mutasa and Tonderai Choga, said the Appeals Committee went through a painstaking process to arrive at their decision.
Mazonde also hinted that Kamambo and Banda have reached a dead end in their quest as the decision by the Appeals Committee was final.
“In terms of the electoral code, the decision of the Appeals Committee is final. The only way to remedy is to remedy it is to remedy the issues that we have raised so that in the next election they will then not go without any issues.
“Our role as the Appeals Committee was basically to adjudicate over these appeals. In relation to whether or not the election would proceed, it’s a matter which the Zifa secretariat should respond to.
“We hope that this (judgment) answers everything and clears the air on a number of issues that have been raised in relation to these appeals and we believe that we have discharged our mandate in the best manner that we can and in the interest of justice both for our game and even for the credibility of Zifa itself,” said Mazonde.
However, Kamambo and Banda had argued that the Electoral Committee had treated them unfairly when they axed their names from the list of the successful candidates after the vetting process.
Kamambo raised three issues in his grounds of appeal against the Electoral Committee chaired by Vusilizwe Vuma insisting that his nomination was properly done by the requisite three people of good standing with Zifa.
He also challenged his suspension, which was effected earlier this year, and the legality of the integrity test conducted by the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission on the candidates to run for Zifa office.
However, chairman of the Appeals Committee Mazonde said Kamambo’s case was dismissed on the basis of his improper nomination.
“In casu, the Appellant’s nomination was proposed by three individuals, namely, Sweeny Mushonga on behalf of the Zifa Northern Region Soccer League, Moses Chiikoti on behalf of Zifa Highfield Area Zone, and one individual whose name is only stated as Alois, purportedly on behalf of PSL.
“It is the proposition by the individual which is the source of contest in these proceedings.
“It is common cause (or ought to be accepted as such) that PSL is not a member of Zifa, at least going by the definition of “member” as espoused in article 10 of the constitution…
“I am satisfied that Electoral Committee was correct in reaching the conclusion that the Appellant had not been properly nominated. For this reason, this ground of appeal ought to fail,” read the judgement.
Banda, who was hoping to stand toe to toe with incumbent Omega Sibanda, had said in his grounds of appeal that the Electoral Committee erred in disregarding one of his nominators and in also taking into account his ban in 2013, wh i c h
h e argued was not validated by Congress.
However, while some of his arguments held water, the fact that he was banned and was still to complete his rehabilitation haunted his appeal.
“The nature of this Appeal is that if it must succeed it must do so in whole, not in part. Whilst the committee found merit in some of the grounds of Appeal raised, this is not helpful if there are some fatal flaws in the appeal especially in cases where the Appeals Committee upheld the findings of the Electoral Committee.
“In particular, the Appellant must serve his rehabilitation till 8th December 2018. Before such date, any disqualification by the Electoral Committee cannot be altered.
“The Appeal is therefore dismissed and the Appellant’s disqualification by the Electoral Committee is therefore upheld and confirmed,” said Mazonde.
The disqualification of Kamambo and Banda from the nominations left incumbent Phillip Chiyangwa and his deputy Sibanda to run uncontested in the poll.
The Zifa election season, which began early this year, will wind up next week with the ushering in of a new national executive to lead the country’s football affairs for the next four years.
Six other candidates will fight for the four slots available for the Zifa Executive Committee. The nominees include incumbent Zifa board memberFinance Philemon Machana, media practitioner Barry Manandi, public relations executive Sugar Chagonda, businessman Chamu Chiwanza, veteran administrator Stanley Chapeta, and ex-referee Brighton Malandule.