The world football governing body have in the last few weeks been inundated by correspondence from a coalition of former ZIFA presidents and the Sports Commission, claiming that Chiyangwa’s mandate to run football in Zimbabwe expired on March 30 and that a constitutional crisis and leadership vacuum had emerged in the game.
FIFA were bombarded with the letters from Zimbabwe despite the world body having earlier made it clear that they were seized with the ZIFA elections issue following a request from the association that came as a result of a February 17 ZIFA Congress resolution to seek clarity on the roadmap for their pools.
Yesterday, FIFA brought the case to finality in a move that was also a slap in the face for acting Sports Commission director-general Joseph Muchechetere, the committee led by Vincent Pamire and Trevor Carelse-Juul and some social media hawks in which Harare City FC official Hope Chizuzu has been playing a leading role.
FIFA, in their statement yesterday, reaffirmed that they had blessed the ZIFA Electoral Committee, as demanded by the association’s constitution, to come up with a roadmap for the polls and, crucially, that the current leadership remained the bona-fide leaders of domestic football.
‘‘We can confirm that FIFA has sent a letter to ZIFA on 24 April, informing them that given that the current ZIFA executive committee inherited the four-year mandate of the previous executive committee under Mr Cuthbert Dube that began in March 2014, elections of a new ZIFA executive committee should take place as soon as possible in accordance with the ZIFA statutes and regulations,’’ FIFA said.
“Consequently, and in accordance, with Article 2 letter c of the ZIFA Electoral Code, the incumbent ZIFA executive committee remains until the next election. We have no further comment.’’
As exclusively reported in The Saturday Herald, ZIFA had upon receiving correspondence from FIFA, held an induction course for the electoral committee that will now oversee the election process.ZIFA legal advisor Itai Ndudzo said the electoral committee would this Friday make key pronouncements related to the ZIFA election roadmap, including indicating “who is up for election and when’’.
“The electoral committee at this point in time is the only body competent to make decisions on all the election issues,’’ Ndudzo said.
Following FIFA’s correspondence, Chiyangwa yesterday issued a statement lashing out at the actions of the association’s former presidents, the cabal’s social media mouthpiece Chizuzu and the Sports Commission acting-director general.
“ZIFA wishes to advise all football stakeholders that FIFA has duly confirmed to both ZIFA and the mainstream media in Zimbabwe and South Africa that ZIFA elections shall soon be held in accordance with the ZIFA statutes which give full responsibility and authority to the electoral committee duly installed by congress on the 17th of February 2018.
“Accordingly, the ZIFA Electoral Committee is presently seized with ZIFA electoral processes and shall soon make public the timelines for the holding of elections.
“FIFA has also duly confirmed that the current ZIFA Executive Committee, led by President Dr Philip Chiyangwa, remains the duly mandated executive committee of ZIFA and shall remain in office until completion of the electoral process when winners in the election shall be declared.“ZIFA has in the past months communicated the position as confirmed by FIFA which is clearly as provided in the ZIFA constitution and the electoral code.
“It is noteworthy that notwithstanding the clear provisions of the ZIFA Statutes, there has been relentless attempts by failed and banned former football administrators and other well-known imposters to author chaos and confusion by making baseless allegations against the ZIFA Executive Committee and by seriously misrepresenting provisions of the ZIFA constitution’’.
Chiyangwa also expressed shock that the former presidents, who also call themselves elders, had asked FIFA to install them as a normalisation committee amid claims there was a huge crisis in the administration of the game in this country.
“In particular, on the 10th of April 2018, one Cuthbert Dube, who single-handedly created a whopping $7 million debt and was ultimately dismissed by the ZIFA Congress through a vote of no confidence in October of 2015, wrote to FIFA begging to be given authority to resume ZIFA leadership, notwithstanding his proven incompetence, ban and rejection by ZIFA members. FIFA has dismissed Dube’s shocking and shameless request with the contempt it deserves.
“Equally, on the 10th of April 2018, ex-convicts Mr Rafik Khan and Mr Vincent Pamire and two other former presidents, Mr Trevor Juul-Carelse and Mr Leo Mugabe (who were both dismissed from office) on proven allegations of maladministration, also begged FIFA to be given executive authority in ZIFA by falsely claiming to be “elders of Zimbabwean football and honorary presidents”.
The shenanigans of these discredited and failed football administrators were equally frowned upon by FIFA, which upheld the authority and sterling efforts of the ZIFA executive committee led by Dr Philip Chiyangwa.
“Most surprisingly, on the 17th of April 2018, a Joseph Muchechetere, purporting to be the “Acting” director-general (a position not provided for in the SRC Act), nicodemously wrote to FIFA falsely alleging a ‘constitutional crisis’ and desperately seeking to usurp the exclusive authority of the ZIFA Electoral Committee to run ZIFA elections. Mr Muchechetere has been seriously working in cahoots with the banned pseudo journalist and known rabble-rouser, one Hope Chizuzu, to smear the ZIFA leadership through publication of outright defamatory lies on social media. ZIFA wishes to assure all football-loving Zimbabweans that there will be strict compliance with football statutes and appropriate legal action is being taken against all charlatans who have attempted to destabilise the smooth administration of football in Zimbabwe,’’ read the statement.
However, it is Muchechetere’s ill-advised move to take sides in the ZIFA saga, which is against the spirit of the peace initiatives brokered by the Minister, Sport, Arts and Recreation Kazembe Kazembe on February 13, which defies logic.Muchechetere’s email to FIFA secretary-general Fatma Samoura on April 17 exposed the compromised position of the long-serving Sports Commission’s head of secretariat when it comes to the ZIFA issue.
“The Sports and Recreation Commission hereby write to seek guidance and to officially invite FIFA to Zimbabwe to participate in the process to usher a solution to impasse among Zimbabwe Football Association, ZIFA members and ZIFA stakeholders,’’ he wrote.
“To our best knowledge, the impasse has been caused by failure by the current ZIFA leadership led by Mr Philip Chiyangwa to facilitate the process of the holding of elections of all structures from area zones, districts, provinces, regions and national executives by March 18 as they fell due in line with the stipulation of the constitution.
“According to the constitution, all structures should have held elections after completing the four-year circle (sic) hence the alleged ZIFA leadership and constitutional crisis. In terms of ZIFA constitution Article 32, which ushered into office the Mr Philip Chiyangwa-led executive committee on 5 December 2015, the term of office has expired.
“The Mr Philip Chiyangwa-led executive committee came into office to finish a two-year term of office of the Dr Cuthbert Dube executive committee which could not finish its term due to maladministration.’’
Muchechetere also claimed that the resignations of Mabhena and Kamambo had rendered Chiyangwa’s executive dysfunctional.
“Mr Philip Chiyangwa’s executive committee is now heavily depleted, rendering itself (its composition) less than 50 percent the required number to continue running the organisation.
“Unfortunately, the current leadership continues to cling to office against this provision in Article 32.
“The situation in ZIFA can be best described as chaotic and characterised by suspensions, banning and counter accusations by members of the ZIFA family hence this invitation by the Sports and Recreation Commission for FIFA to give guidance and send its officials to assist in finding the lasting solution and serve (sic) our beautiful game,’’ Muchechetere said.
Interestingly, Muchechetere’s letter was sent using his gmail and yahoo accounts, rather than the official Sports Commission email accounts and FIFA — who don’t even accredit journalists using such accounts — simply forwarded the letters to Mr Chiyangwa.
MORE ON PHILIP CHIYANGWA:
Philip Chiyangwa (born 1959) is a co-founder of the Affirmative Action Group together with the late Peter Pamire (1962–1997), a chair of Native Africa Investments Ltd., and has served as an MP for the ZANU-PF party in Zimbabwe. He was long believed to be a cousin of President Robert Mugabe. But Mugabe’s nephew,Patrick Zhuwao, revealed that Chiyangwa is not even related to President Mugabe.
Philip Chiyangwa grew up in Chegutu, some 100 km south of Harare. He went to St. Francis school. His mother was from the Guta raJehovah City of the Lord sect. His young brothers James (Jimalo), Josphat and Mophat went to Pfupajena school.
As a member of the BSAP African Reserve, he served for several months at the time of the March 1980 election. In the November 2000 publication The History of the British South Africa Police, Chiyangwa was featured in a photograph taken at the time of the election lying prone with a police-issued FN, chatting to a senior, white BSAP officer. A copy was leaked to Zimbabwe’s independent press bringing a vehement denial by Chiyangwa who offered a substantial reward for information as to the photo’s source. The photo was, in fact, taken from the BSAP’s magazine Outpost archives in the early 1980s, to be used at a later date for the-then unplanned history.
Chiyangwa is the proprietor of Native Africa Investments Ltd. based in Harare. His company has been involved in a few high-profile takeovers, the most famous being G&D Shoes which he tried, with success to save from liquidation. Chiyangwa and the late Peter Pamire (1962-1997) founded the Affirmative Action Group (AAG)now led by Chamu chiwanza. He was also responsible for the 1998 visit to Zimbabwe by singer Michael Jackson and after announcing to National media that he would be working with the singer on various business projects.
In 2004–05 he was arrested and detained for several months by Mugabe’s notorious CIO after being accused of passing state secrets to South Africa agents. He allegedly received severe beatings and torture and suffered a mild stroke, and has subsequently moved away from politics and is now concentrating on his growing empire.
In 2015 Phillip Chiyangwa was elected as Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA) president. On 17 December 2016 he was elected COSAFA President. On 15 March 2017, he led a successful coup against CAF President Issa Hayatou. Hayatou had served as CAF President since 1988 and had been seeking an eighth term. Chiyangwa and Hayatou became sworn enemies when Hayatou heard rumours of the intention to defeat him at the CAF elections held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. FIFA President Infantino visited Zimbabwe to celebrate Chiyangwa’s 59th birthday that’s when rumours of the alliance first surfaced. Hayatou lost by 20 votes to 34 votes against Ahmad Ahmad the former boss of Madagascar Football Federation.