The Sunday Mail
ZIFA president Felton Kamambo admits there are sharp divisions within the newly elected board but insists he will stick to the constitution as the football mother body grapples with an internal strife triggered by the suspension of vice president Gift Banda.
Banda was suspended by the Zifa board last Wednesday for violating the association’s constitution when he “unilaterally” fired Warriors assistant coaches Lloyd Mutasa and Rahman Gumbo before replacing the duo with Bongani Mafu and Tonderai Ndiraya.
The Banda issue was put to vote in Wednesday’s emergence board meeting with four members voting for Banda’s suspension, three opted for a reprisal while one board member voted for no action to be taken against the former Njube Sundowns owner.
Philemon Machana, Chamu Chiwanza, Sugar Chagonda, Barbra Chikosi, Farai Jere, Brighton Malandule and Kamambo attended that board meeting which also overturned Banda’s appointments and reengaged the duo of Mutasa and Gumbo.
Subsequently, cracks have emerged within the board amid claims that some board members are still aligned to the previous dispensation.
Kamambo is aware of the divisions and has vowed that he will not hesitate to use constitutional means to deal with anyone “bent on sabotaging the new board’s efforts to move the game forward.”
Kamambo has been preaching the gospel of good corporate governance and adherence to the association’s constitution ever since he dethroned Philip Chiyangwa in an election held last December.
But this latest crisis could prove a huge test for Kamambo whose leadership capacity has also come under the spotlight ahead of Zimbabwe’s crunch African Cup of Nations qualifier against Congo-Brazzaville on March 22.
The Warriors technical team is not happy with Banda’s actions while the board is cracking over the vice president’s suspension.
“It’s normal to have divisions within the board because we didn’t campaign on the same team prior to the elections.
“But it is also up to me as the Zifa president to unite this board,” Kamambo told The Sunday Mail.
“When I was elected Zifa president I said bygones should be bygones but if there are people standing in the way then we will not hesitate to use the right channels to deal with them.
“The previous ZIFA administration played its part but its now in the past, people should allow our board to operate efficiently,”
Banda is contesting the board’s decision and will issue a statement on Tuesday. Kamambo’s predecessor Chiyangwa, who is still the president of Cosafa, told The Sunday Mail he was too senior to meddle in Zifa issues.
“I do not meddle in Football Association issues, remember I am a president of 14 Football Associations and have no time to meddle with Zifa.
“We played our part, we had our own successes so I urge people to give Kamambo his chance,” said Chiyangwa.
Kamambo has made it clear he has no problems with Chiyangwa and even paid the former ZIFA president a courtesy call a few days after his election last December.
The 48-year-old Kamambo insists the decision to suspend Banda was done above board despite the possibility of a constitutional loophole in the process.
“Everything was done above board, it was an emergence meeting and there were three items on the agenda namely national team coaches, standardization of referees and preparations for the AFCON game.
“The board members deliberated on the issues and we then agreed that as the board we couldn’t ratify changes made by Banda because they were done unconstitutionally.
“During the process some board members questioned why VP Banda made those appointments without consultations and those board members felt it was a breach of the constitution.
“At the same time it was agreed that the hiring and firing of national coaches by an individual was tantamount to sabotage.
“It was then agreed that we put the matter to vote and there were three options namely no action, reprimand and suspension. “Four voted for Banda’s suspension, two voted for his reprisal while one voted for no action to be taken.
“People should view this decision in a positive light, it’s a signal to the corporate world that we want to be professional,” revealed Kamambo.
“We have suspended the VP (Gift Banda), that issue is now in the past, we want to move on and concentrate on football and I am sure football will win at the end of the day.
“We don’t want to go to the last AFCON qualifier against Congo a divided lot. Right now the Warriors technical team is not happy following their temporary dismissal and we have had to meet Sunday Chidzambwa and his team (Mutasa and Gumbo) to assure them of our support.
“The Head Coach promised to pay us back by qualifying for the AFCON finals. They also want to make history by reaching the quarterfinals should they qualify for the finals.
“We will also want to engage with those who had been appointed (Mafu and Ndiraya) and offer our apologies,” added Kamambo.