BANDA BACK IN ZIFA POLLS Banned candidates allowed to contest
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.