Zifa, SRC tiff… minister called in to mediate

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ZIFA has called in Sports minister Kirsty Coventry to mediate between them and the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) over their irreconcilable differences which have degenerated into a public spate.
On Sunday the football mother body broke their silence, singling out SRC board chairperson Gerald Mlotshwa and an unnamed former football administrator within the SRC administration for allegedly mounting spirited efforts to discredit Zifa and elbow out its executive.

This follows a series of what Zifa call unprecedented attacks by SRC aimed at soiling their image. Last week saw the national U20 men’s team struggling to get clearance from SRC to participate in the upcoming Cosafa games in South Africa before the ministries of Sport and Health intervened.

This came after SRC announced that they had suspended Zifa secretary-general Joseph Mamutse from all forms of football activities pending an investigation into the circumstances under which the national U17 girls and boys teams left the country to participate in tournaments in South Africa, which irked the association.

“Zifa…believe that a mediation process should be done by the minister Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation to try and resolve the impasse between Zifa and SRC. This process will effectively put to rest the issue of who is to blame between these two organisations,” Zifa said in their recent strongly worded statement.

“Finally, we would like to unreservedly and unconditionally thank the Government of Zimbabwe through the ministries of Sport and Health for allowing our boys to go to South Africa.

“We understand they may have been previously misinformed and hope one day those causing the confusion while holding critical facilitatory and regulatory roles will be able to account for their clear acts of sabotage.” Zifa seem to have been bottling up issues and only waiting for the opportune time to react and after their board meeting they launched their offensive against SRC chairperson Mlotshwa.

“Zifa is aware of desperate attempts by the SRC, in particular its chairman, to try and to push for the arrest of board members.

“The end game we are told and are aware of is to have everyone within the board in court to justify suspension of the board,” said Zifa.

“The SRC wants the board to be replaced by a committee made up of members of their choice, some who are rejects in football, known match fixers, previous election losers and dismissed cheats.

“Zifa is in good standing with requirements of the SRC Act. Zifa is paid up even up to 2020 where football is not being played, attend all SRC quarterly meetings, submits all audited accounts and activity reports and budgets as they become due.

“Zifa therefore challenges the SRC to again be specific and inform the nation on which area we are found wanting. Zifa even paid the SRC legacy debt just to begin on a clean slate when it became clear the SRC was not willing to
write off the debt but committed to victimise the current board for debts created some seven years
ago. This nation must know that this Zifa cleared that debt.”

Zifa maintains the SRC chairperson is after the association’s scalp. “Zifa is aware of letters previously written by the SRC to Fifa seeking permission to remove the board and replace it with a normalisation committee. We understand that names were already drawn up by the SRC but Fifa rejected the idea then, which we see being mooted again this time, but using a different dimension.

“It must be stressed that while we do not speak for Fifa as a member association and affiliate of Fifa, we know the international federation brooks no corruption and would not protect us the moment we are found to be corrupt,” Zifa added.

“But just like the police who have been lied to, Fifa always verifies facts and does not just go by hearsay. Fifa audits usage of its resources and our decisions; surely recent efforts in the press which allege ‘protection at all means’ are just meant to raise emotions against Zifa and its mother body by the few individuals within the SRC.

“The Zifa board and secretariat is fully aware of efforts clandestinely underway to even go to the extent of suspending the board on spurious charges without, according it the chance to defend itself on any allegation as provided for under section 30 of the SRC Act.

“The board has in its possession, evidence of the actions of the SRC board chair where he has tried in the past to have the Zifa president arrested for winning an election through alleged vote buying.

“Zifa is in possession of a letter then penned to the directorgeneral of SRC by the SRC chairman where he was instructing the secretariat to lay criminal charges against the Zifa president.”

There was no comment from SRC

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