The ongoing Zifa elections, that are the subject of a court challenge, were thrown into disarray yesterday when the verification of the candidates vying for the association’s vice-presidency and the four posts available on the board was inexplicably deferred to Wednesday.
Although the Zifa electoral committee chairman, Selo Nare, would not divulge the main cause of the deferment, The Sunday Mail Sport understands that one of the candidates for vice-president, Elkanah Dube, had not paid his full nomination fee by yesterday.
Sources within the process told this paper that the former Highlanders chairman wrote to the electoral committee seeking a grace period until Wednesday, by which time it is understood he would have raised the full amount.
Nomination fee for the board elections has been pegged at $5 000, a figure widely regarded as exorbitant.
Dube and Bulawayo businessman Omega “Oms” Sibanda are the only two candidates battling to land the vice-presidency.
“The verification of the candidates for the vice-presidency and the board members has been deferred to next Wednesday to allow certain ratifications. We can’t reveal the names of those whose names have sailed through in the race for the four board members and the vice-presidency, but we are certain we will be announcing the names on Wednesday,” said Nare.
This means the candidates can now only be unveiled three days before the polls kick off on Saturday morning. An agent representing Sibanda, who refused to be named, questioned the legality of the move which he said was tantamount to bending the rules of the election process. “We just wonder whether this provision to allow more time to someone whose papers are not in order was there when the process started. We thought it was clear that one was supposed to pay his or her full nomination fees upon submission of his or her papers,” said the disgruntled agent.
Sibanda, who was absent during yesterday’s verification exercise, refused to dwell on the issue, preferring to leave the matter in the hands of the electoral committee which he believes “knows what it is doing.”
There was, however, no such hiccup in the verification process for the much-anticipated contest for the Zifa leadership where the quartet of Cuthbert Dube, Leslie Gwindi, Nigel Munyati and surprise packet Trevor Carelse-Juul were all cleared to participate in next week’s watershed polls.
Financial expert Bernard Gwarada, former board member finance Gladmore Muzambi, former Eastern Region boss Fungai Chihuri, Warriors legend John Phiri and Chicken Inn club secretary Tawengwa Hara are some of the names expected to be announced on Wednesday.
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