No Zifa elections soon as Mutasa seeks Fifa guidance

02 Jun, 2024 - 00:06 0 Views
No Zifa elections soon as  Mutasa seeks Fifa guidance

The Sunday Mail

Zimpapers Sports Hub

ELECTIONS for a substantive ZIFA board will not be held any time before September, as the association’s Normalisation Committee (NC) led by Lincoln Mutasa will not be able to complete its six tasks by the end of this month.

The NC was handed a one-year tenure by FIFA on July 11 last year up to June 30.

All things being equal, a substantive board should have been in place by the end of the NC’s mandate.

Mutasa’s committee, which has Cynthia Malaba as vice chairperson, former Mighty Warriors player and coach Rosemary Mugadza, ex-Highlanders defender Sikhumbuzo Ndebele and lawyer Nyasha Sanyamandwe, was given the task to reform local football.

As reported by The Sunday Mail in January, when signs that the NC would miss their targets were already clear, Mutasa has conceded that the FIFA Council will have to decide on their fate ahead of the expiry of their tenure.

In an interview with some media houses on Thursday, Mutasa said elections for a substantive ZIFA board will only be held 40 days after the adoption of a new constitution, which is beyond the NC’s term.

“We are on course; the major things have been addressed. I can assure you, we will not spend one more day than is necessary in office,” he said.

“That’s why we said the first thing is the constitution, and that constitution is actually in circulation and by the 7th of June we expect the comments in, then we will discuss to see which ones need to be modified or whatever, and then we will call for an EGM (extraordinary general meeting) or AGM (annual general meeting).

“The purpose will primarily be to adopt the new constitution, as well as ratify the audited accounts. Once that is done, it has a significant impact on the actual date of the elections because, I think, elections will come 40 days after that.”

Asked what that meant to their fate after the expiry of the mandate, Mutasa said: “I think the normal trend is the guys who put us in office got this from the FIFA Council, so ordinarily, they will need to go back to that council and either ask for an extension or even decide to put in a new Normalisation Committee, which can see through this process.

“Either option is not within our say. It’s really for the (FIFA) head of Africa, Gelson Fernandes, on which route he wants to take.”

The NC has come under a lot of criticism over their conduct, but Mutasa felt the attacks come from people sympathetic to former members of the ZIFA secretariat, who were bitter their people were no longer in charge.

“Thank you for giving me this opportunity to try and respond to some of what I would call unfounded criticisms. Yes, I understand where the criticism is emanating from. As you are aware, we were given the task to normalise ZIFA and part of our work involved an internal analysis of the secretariat,” he said.

“It doesn’t stop there; we also have to reconstitute the congress, which is the body that eventually elects the executive committee of ZIFA, the board.

“So, in our initial engagement, we identified that the organisation was not set up really to deliver football, or best serve football. We, therefore, embarked on creating a new organisational chart and, as a result of that, we parted company with some former employees because we did not see them fitting into the new organisation or the vision that we had.

“We believe this might have irked friends or people like that, who felt they were very good friends with them and would have wanted them to continue within the organisation.”

On whether they had fulfilled the great expectations that the Zimbabwe football fraternity had when they took office or not, Mutasa claimed they had done a good job despite the mess in the Warriors’ camp.

“You will be surprised, it’s only that what happens in our society, the whole football ecosystem focuses only on the national team,” he said. “That’s where everybody’s focus is, but within the past nine months or so, we have gone at great length at re-establishing the structures that had almost collapsed.

He added: “The whole secretariat has been reset, whereby we now have a fully functional technical department with the grassroots, youth, all engaged. We recently got about 2 000 youth clubs from all over the country who are wanting now to be part of ZIFA.

“We have also had the FIFA for schools to encourage football to be played throughout the year, as opposed to just one term. We also have the CAF Under-15 tournament for both boys and girls, which we are going to be doing every year. So, all those are efforts that the public will not see.

“Nyasha Sanyamandwe, who is now Moyo, went to great pains to actually collate all the data for the stakeholders that we have engaged with, not just in Harare but right round the country.

“We went round and presented to the various stakeholders about the forthcoming elections, prior to that, getting our constitution to be reviewed and we took in a lot of those inputs. She put them together, discussed with the FIFA guys who were able, collectively, to put all those comments into a new constitution, which currently is in circulation and once we adopt that we are good to go.

“So, if your measure is clearly just about the national team, what people are concerned about is why we have been chopping and changing the coach, but that to me is not as important in the sense that what we are trying to do is to make sure that the structure is correct. That is more important going forward.”

Mutasa said they managed to put the ZIFA accounts in order despite having to scramble for information after a former accountant allegedly disappeared.

“Of the six mandates, four are almost complete,” he said.

“The major item that is outstanding now is basically making sure that the constitution is fully reviewed by the members and then those members have to ratify the new constitution, but more importantly than that, we also had to normalise ZIFA accounts.

“Maybe you were not aware. When we came on board, the previous accountant was missing and the computer that contained all the data had broken down, so until we hired a new accountant that area was stationary.

“But I am delighted to say now that we have managed to reconstruct the 2021 accounts, they have been audited and we are in the process of finalising the 2022 and 2023 accounts.

“So, the finances are now back on schedule.

“Another issue that people don’t realise is that although we have the ZIFA Congress, which elects the executive committee, there is another group of people that is very important in the running of football.

“Those are the committees; the committees had almost disappeared. As we talk now, we have reconstituted all these committees. In the past, it was more of friends being invited to sit on the committees, but now we have very credible people.

“It’s all about rebranding and creating the right image going forward. We have very eminent people on the various judicial bodies, accounting bodies. I think Mr Muchadeyi Masunda is on the ethics side. You also have people like Mr Nyasha Zhou. All these are luminaries in the audit side.

“But for these people to actually come and sit on the committees despite the perception or the image that is being tried to be peddled, you can see that it doesn’t make sense. They wouldn’t have come anywhere near it.’’

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