Let’s remain true to ourselves, says Omega
ZIFA vice-president Omega Sibanda has challenged those criticising the Zifa executive to provide evidence of constitutional violations, instead of making what he termed unfounded claims.
Zifa goes to the polls on Saturday where 60 members of the congress will vote for the president, vice-president and four committee members who will be in charge of the national game for the next four years. Sibanda faces the challenge of Bulawayo businessman Gift Banda while the Zifa presidential race will see the incumbent Phillip Chiyangwa squaring off against former executive committee member Felton Machana.
Five candidates, Mlungisi Moyo, Bryton Malandule, Stanley Chapeta, Sugar Chagonda, Chamu Chiwanza and incumbent Phillimon Machana are vying for the four executive committee posts.
“We have been following reports from some various foras where we are being accused of violating the constitution and I am saying which section of the 2013 amended constitution has been violated. Zimbabweans know and are fully aware that I am the one who raised the red button when the previous Zifa leader was violating the constitution and together with my fellow congressmen and congresswomen, we said no to that. The rest is history. Just before the 2015 elections we had a pact with Chiyangwa who said to me he was a financial engineer and I said I was a complete administrator and together we will bring sanity to football. Our major thrust was to observe the constitution to the full and true to our words we have observed that mandate as per Article Two of the Zifa constitution,” said Sibanda.
Article Two of the Zifa constitution deals with the objectives of the association which include improving the game of football constantly and promote, regulate and control it throughout the territory of Zifa in the light of fair play and its unifying, educational, cultural and humanitarian values, particularly through youth and developmental programmes. Part (b) reads;
“To organise competitions in association football in all its forms at national level by defining precisely as required, the areas of authority conceded to various leagues of which it is composed.”
Another section of Article Two says Zifa must manage international sporting relations connected with association football in all its forms as well as to host competitions at international and other levels.
“It is a fact that under the stewardship of Chiyangwa we have met all the objectives of Zifa as per the constitution and all that has been done within the two years that we have been in authority, we therefore ask our fellow congressmen and congresswomen to give us a full fouryear term this Saturday and allow us to fully turn around the football fortunes of the country.
“We have qualified for Afcon and are on the verge of another appearance, our Under-20 boys are doing well in Zambia, the senior national team has won the Cosafa Cup back-to-back and we are back in the World Cup race and all this is as a result of the leadership which is there now. Yes, it is true that congress is supreme to the executive but the executive runs football in the country through the secretariat,” said Sibanda.
He said politicking will not help the cause of the game in the country and urged football stakeholders to remain true to themselves, adding that Zifa was having its accounts audited annually as per Fifa guidelines.
“A lot is in the pipeline and our fellow congressmen and congresswomen are aware of that. I also want to personally salute our biggest affiliate, the Premier Soccer League which is under the good leadership of Farai Jere and his head of secretariat Kennedy Ndebele. It’s clear that these guys have done a great job and their vision is pro-football and very soon the league will be recognised as a member of Zifa through a constitutional amendment which has been drafted by Jere and his secretariat, all for the good of the game,” said Sibanda.
He added that they had facilitated smooth flow of women’s soccer.
“The Women’s Soccer league is running smoothly and we are happy with the leadership there,” he said.
The Saturday elections will be observed by a delegation from Fifa.