Let’s re­main true to our­selves, says Omega

Sunday News (Zimbabwe) - - Front Page - Sikhum­buzo Moyo Se­nior Sports Re­porter

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.

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