Felton Kamambo

Zifa members challenge arrest

SUSPENDED Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) executive members, Felton Kamambo, pictured, Philemon Machana, Stanley Chapeta, Joseph Mamutse and Bryton Malandule have challenged their arrest saying it was unlawful and should be revoked.

The five are alleged to have written letters on Zifa letterheads purporting to be the national football governing body executive committee members, yet they were on suspension.

The State yesterday sought to remand them further to May 3, an application which they challenged.

Their lawyer Admire Rubaya applied for revocation of placement on remand saying there was no justification for them to keep coming to court.

It is their argument that their suspension by the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) is null and void as the world football governing body Fifa does not recognise it.

They argued that they therefore should continue to be on remand based on a “null suspension”.

 “Fifa has taken a position that the decision of the SRC to suspend all the members of the Zifa Executive Committee based on mere allegations without proof of a final and binding ruling to be contrary to Fifa  statutory provisions.

“This as at the 21” of December 2021 was taken as undue third party interference in the internal affairs of Zifa.

 Fifa has gone on to order that the SRC uplifts the alleged suspension and proceeded to suspend Zifa

“As such, the accused persons ought to be removed from remand as nothing warrants them to be continuously placed on remand.

“The Accused persons are sailing in the same boat with Fifa  and since they are bound by their statutes they have taken the SRC’s action to suspend them as not only unlawful for want of contravening Fifa statutes but also unconstitutional for want of the SRS’s conduct being inconsistent with the provisions of the constitution of the Republic,” they argued.

It is also their argument that their suspension by SRC was unlawful as they were not afforded an opportunity to give their side of the story.

“The SRC summarily suspended the Zifa executive committee without affording them any hearing. The SRC was obliged to afford the Zifa executive committee and or the accused an opportunity of making representations in the matter.

“It was not given an opportunity to make representations before the decision to suspend the entire Zifa board but were simply invited for purposes of being told of the penalty or the decision of the SRC. That was patently and grossly irregular”.

Kamambo and company further argued that the conduct of the SRC to suspend them when they largely make up the elected Zifa board was unconstitutional as it contravened the provisions of the constitution resulting in “abuse of the criminal justice system where the SRC has lodged a criminal complaint against the accused for failure comply with a null and void suspension order which is of no force and effect.”