Ruling on Banda case set for Friday

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Godknows Matarutse
SPORTS WRITER
matarutseg@dailynews.co.zw

THE Zifa Appeals Committee will on Friday deliver their ruling on the condonation application made by the association in which the football mother body is seeking to overturn the acquittal of vice president Gift Banda.

The Stead Kachere-chaired committee finally met yesterday in the capital to hear the preliminary points raised by Banda’s lawyer Munyaradzi Nzarayapenga, who maintains that the case is now water under the bridge.

“We have adjourned, ruling on preliminary points raised by Banda will be delivered on Friday July 10,” Kachere told the Daily News.

Banda’s legal woes surfaced only two months into his reign after he won the election against incumbent Omega Sibanda during the December 2018 Zifa polls.

The former Njube Sundowns director was suspended after he was accused of making changes to the technical teams of both the Warriors and the Mighty Warriors without the knowledge of other members of the executive committee.

Banda has been fighting against his suspension since February 2019 and has been winning the case at every turn.
However, Zifa kept on appealing against the decision and last month the appeals committee threw out the association’s application on a technicality.

Zifa had failed to prove they had indeed paid the appeals fees meaning that Banda should be reinstated.
The association through their legal advisor Chenaimoyo Gumiro sought condonation against the decision after claiming they had located the proof of payment.

The Zifa Appeals Committee is now expected to determine whether the association can be granted the relief it is seeking.

This development has seen Kamambo and his acting vice president Philemon Machana being accused of creating an unholy pact that is taking down the game. In fact, Machana is now seen as the de-facto president owing to Kamambo’s incompetence.

Instead of focusing on real football issues, Zifa are currently wasting resources fighting Banda.
Some stakeholders have even cranked up pressure on the embattled association by calling the government to intervene and save the country’s number one sport from sinking into an abyss.

Last month, the stakeholders led by the militant former football administrator Francis Zimunya handed a petition to Justice minister Ziyambi Ziyambi, Home Affairs minister Kazembe Kazembe, the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission and Sports minister Kirsty Coventry.

Currently, the association is in the eye of a storm for failing to honour their promise to bail out local Premier League clubs from the financial challenges they are facing as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Kamambo promised to bail out PSL teams and had set a last month deadline to come up with a stimulus package for the clubs and women’s football teams.

The deadline has since lapsed and the association remains unmoved leaving most clubs desperate as they continue reeling from the meltdown caused by the pandemic.

This is despite Zifa receiving US$700 000 from Fifa and US$200 000 from Caf.
Fifa has now approved a further $1,5 million while Caf also promised $300 000 to assist each member association which appears to have triggered the purpose of a Zifa meeting which has since been rescheduled for Thursday.

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