The Sunday Mail
THE fall out between Zifa and the Sports Recreation Commission spilled into Government and Fifa corridors on Friday amid a warning that Zimbabwe risks being frozen out of the global football family.
Zifa president Phillip Chiyangwa wrote to the Ministry of Youth, Arts, Sports and Culture; and copied Fifa, accusing the SRC board chair Edward Siwela and acting director general Joseph Muchechetere of “unlawfully meddling in internal football processes.”
In a letter addressed to the ministry’s permanent secretary Prince Mupazviriwo, a combative Chiyangwa warned that Zimbabwe risked being suspended from the global football family if the alleged meddling persists.
“I write to appraise your esteemed office of recent extremely disturbing conduct by Messrs Siwela and Muchechetere,” reads the letter, a copy of which is in our possession.
“The extent of the onslaught of Zifa by the duo has been of such a magnitude that in the circumstances I have been left with no option but to report to your good offices and to Fifa.”
Chiyangwa accused Siwela of lacking probity and being “deceitfully unrelenting in his quest to micro-manage the Zifa electoral process.” The Zifa boss was not amused by the meeting Siwela allegedly held with a group of “football stakeholders” who claim that there is a leadership vacuum at the local soccer governing body.
“My displeasure is on the manner in which Mr Siwela has been restlessly working to circumvent the provisions of the Zifa constitution which he was appointed to protect.
“It is very clear that Mr Siwela does not understand the fiduciary role his office requires of him as demonstrated by his illegal meetings with illegal bodies and further his daring but extremely risky attempt to communicate with Fifa without the permission of Zifa, which will palpably constitute a clear cut case of Government interference with an electoral process of Zifa, which will culminate in calamitous penalties against the entire football fraternity in Zimbabwe.
“The conduct by Mr Siwela cannot be countenanced as it is a clear attempt to author absolute pandemonium and mayhem in Zimbabwean football. We beseech your good offices to call this truant malevolent character to good order.”
Chiyangwa alleged that the SRC chair leaked deliberations of a meeting the pair held to “pseudo journalists.”
“What Mr Siwela insisted was a private and confidential discussion was widely and maliciously circulated, with Mr Siwela being the excited leak,” said the Zifa boss, who also attached a copy of the protest he wrote to Siwela on his dossier.
Chiyangwa wasn’t done yet.
He also aimed his fire at Muchechetere whom he accused of disregarding a directive not to meddle in the Zifa’s internal affairs while working in cahoots with veteran journalist Hope Chizuzu.
“Hope Chizuzu has been Mr Muchechetere’s point man in doing a hatchet job on Zifa. It has been wrongly and falsely alleged inter alia (among other things) that there has been constitutional crisis in Zifa, that there is a leadership vacuum and a whole lot of outrightly nonsensical claims which all place Mr Muchechetere as the source for Hope Chizuzu’s dirty campaign against Zifa.”
Chizuzu denies the allegations while the SRC insists it hasn’t overstepped its mandate on Zifa.
“The SRC Board wishes to advise that as a statutory body which was established in terms of the Sports and Recreation Commission Act [Chapter 25:15], the SRC’s mandate is clearly set out in this Act.
Both the chairman of the board and the acting director general of the SRC have not departed from the SRC mandate,” said the commission in a statement.