BANDA BACK IN ZIFA POLLS Banned can­di­dates al­lowed to con­test

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Front Page - Ricky Zililo

THE Zifa elec­toral com­mit­tee made a stun­ning som­er­sault yes­ter­day, ad­mit­ting to a flawed elec­toral process that had shut out three can­di­dates tar­get­ing board po­si­tions.

The elec­toral com­mit­tee had barred Zifa pres­i­den­tial hope­fuls, Fel­ton Ka­mambo, Gift Banda who is eye­ing the vice-pres­i­dency, and Mlungisi Moyo, who is gun­ning for a board po­si­tion, from con­test­ing the De­cem­ber 1 elec­tions.

The trio ap­pealed the de­ci­sion, but their ap­peals were thrown out by the Zifa ap­peals com­mit­tee, which up­held the elec­toral com­mit­tee’s de­ci­sion to block the trio from con­test­ing.

How­ever, in a sud­den twist of events, Zifa elec­toral com­mit­tee chair­man Vusi Vuma “over­turned” the ap­peals com­mit­tee’s de­ci­sion and ad­mit­ted Ka­mambo, Banda and Moyo back into the race.

In a state­ment yes­ter­day, Vuma said elec­tions for the four board po­si­tions will be held on Satur­day, while the pre­sid­ium vote is set for De­cem­ber 8.

“The Zim­babwe Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion elec­toral com­mit­tee has noted that the ap­peals for Messrs Mlungisi Moyo, Gift Banda and Fel­ton Ka­mambo were not dealt with in ac­cor­dance with Ar­ti­cle 12 sub­sec­tion 3 of the elec­toral code and as such they are now el­i­gi­ble to con­test in the Zifa ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee elec­tions. The elec­tions will now be held as fol­lows; ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee mem­bers 1 De­cem­ber 2018, pres­i­dent and vice-pres­i­dent 8 De­cem­ber 2018,” wrote Vuma.

This means Moyo, who is con­test­ing against Su­gar Chagonda, Stan­ley Chapeta, Chamunorwa Chi­wanza, Phille­mon Machana, Bry­ton Ma­lan­d­ule and Barry Manandi, has just three days to cam­paign.

Ka­mambo is chal­leng­ing Phillip Chiyangwa for the pres­i­dency, while Banda is set to bat­tle it out against in­cum­bent vice-pres­i­dent, Omega Sibanda.

Ka­mambo wel­comed the de­ci­sion, which he de­scribed as “right”.

“I’m ac­tu­ally very happy, not that I’m happy be­cause I will par­tic­i­pate, but happy be­cause it’s now in the open that the elec­toral pro­cesses were flawed. Right now I’m not aware who made the de­ci­sion (to be read­mit­ted into the race); was it the Zifa board or the elec­toral com­mit­tee alone be­cause what I know is that the ap­peals com­mit­tee’s de­ci­sion is fi­nal,” said Ka­mambo.

“What is clear is that this com­mit­tee run­ning our elec­tions is not in­de­pen­dent.

“We knew we had a strong case; that’s why we ap­proached Fifa af­ter be­ing sent from pil­lar to post or shut out. As it is, I don’t even know why my nom­i­na­tion was turned down. Ini­tially it was said to be a rape case, then there were ru­mours that I wasn’t prop­erly nom­i­nated and then I was told that I’m un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tions at work. All that was meant to de­ter me, but be­cause I didn’t want to dis­turb the floor of wis­dom, I kept my ar­gu­ments on elec­tions and the flawed elec­toral process. Ours was a war meant for the good of foot­ball,” said Ka­mambo.

He ques­tioned the wis­dom of hold­ing two sep­a­rate elec­tions.

“There’s no need for two elec­tions. Elec­tions must be done on the same day. The elec­toral com­mit­tee doesn’t have a man­date to change the date. At the same time, we were sup­posed to be given elec­toral col­lege mem­bers 14 days be­fore elec­tions. These flaws have to be ad­dressed,” said Ka­mambo.

Banda chal­lenged Zifa to ad­dress the “glar­ing anom­alies” be­fore elec­tions, say­ing they don’t want dis­puted elec­tions.

“We wel­come the de­ci­sion which is the only right thing that they should have done from the on­set. What’s clear is that peo­ple who have been han­dling elec­tions don’t un­der­stand the rules that they are sup­posed to up­hold,” said Banda.

“Ac­cord­ing to the elec­toral code, they are sup­posed to give us the elec­toral col­lege mem­bers 14 days be­fore the vote and what they have to do is come up with a new elec­tion road map. We don’t want dis­puted elec­tions and I’m won­der­ing if they’ve cir­cu­lated fi­nan­cials 30 days be­fore the meet­ing. We don’t want dis­putes. We want things done con­sti­tu­tion­ally for once. Be­cause they bun­gled, they have to re­fund us our $10 000 ap­peals fee,” he said.

For­mer Chicken Inn trea­surer, Moyo, ap­pealed for a “level ground” be­fore elec­tions.

“The fact that I was pre­pared for elec­tions be­fore they tried to stop me from con­test­ing didn’t take any­thing away from me. I’m still ready for the elec­tions. The only thing I need is to even the ground be­cause I can’t go for an elec­tion against peo­ple who have been cam­paign­ing for a while. These are not vil­lage elec­tions; they are na­tional elec­tions and I have to cam­paign in ev­ery cor­ner of the coun­try,” said Moyo.

“I’m happy be­cause I’ve been ac­corded that chance for peo­ple to choose. We were fight­ing for con­sti­tu­tion­al­ism at Zifa. The fact that we’ve been given a chance shows that foot­ball is the win­ner.” — @ZililoR.

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