Kamambo defies the law? . . . Suspended ZIFA boss flouts bail conditions 

Source: Kamambo defies the law? . . . Suspended ZIFA boss flouts bail conditions | The Herald

Kamambo defies the law? . . . Suspended ZIFA boss flouts bail conditions
Felton Kamambo

Eddie Chikamhi Senior Sports Reporter

SUSPENDED ZIFA president Felton Kamambo could have breached his bail conditions by reaching out to FIFA in a desperate and doomed attempt to try and block the Extraordinary General Meeting set for today.

Joseph Mamutse, the suspended ZIFA chief executive, could also have flouted his bail conditions by communicating with FIFA in his attempt, working in conjunction with Kamambo, to stop the EGM.

The indaba, which starts at 10am this morning, is going ahead as scheduled despite the intervention from FIFA, which Kamambo and Mamutse sought despite a court order barring them from doing so.

Kamambo, who is facing a recall at the EGM, has been having sleepless nights in the last few weeks.

Communication, which apparently came from FIFA this week, shows that the Harare executive has been involving himself in football business, on behalf of ZIFA, in violation of the stringent bail conditions set by Harare Regional Magistrate, Stanford Mambanje, in February, in his fraud case.

The beleaguered football administrator was barred from acting on behalf of ZIFA until the trial, on allegations of fraudulently using the association’s letterhead, which he is facing jointly with some members of his suspended board, was finalised.

A letter dated April 21, 2022 addressed to Kamambo, by FIFA’s senior manager Member Associations, Sarah Solemale, shows that the Harare executive has been in constant communication with FIFA, in defiance of the court order. Solemane indicated the latest engagements with Kamambo were as recent as last week.  This was highlighted in the letter, in which she sought to clarify the conditions for the lifting of Zimbabwe’s ban from international football, in light of today’s scheduled football indaba, which seeks to revoke the mandate of Kamambo and some members of his suspended board.

“AS DISCUSSED IN THE PAST WEEKS, it is important that in the context of the aforementioned EGM, the ZIFA members and delegates understand fully the decision of the FIFA Council taken on February 24, 2022 (as attached hereto).

“Especially, they shall be reminded of the cumulative conditions imposed by FIFA Council in order for the ZIFA suspension to be lifted, including ‘confirmation to FIFA that ZIFA and its management led by president Felton Kamambo and GS Mamutse is back under their full and unconditional control’,” wrote Solemane.

Mamutse then circulated the communication from FIFA to the ZIFA Congress members yesterday, through an email, in contravention of the bail conditions set out for him.

The indaba was called after 27 of the 62 delegates of the Congress appended their signatures to show their support on a petition that was also copied to CAF and FIFA.

ZIFA Northern Region chairman Martin Kweza, who has been mandated by the councillors to lead the EGM, said the idea has received more support and more than 40 members are expected to attend the meeting today.

At least one third of the Congress, which is 21 delegates, is required to call for the meeting, according to Article 28 (2) of the association’s constitution. The councillors are not happy the game has been deteriorating over the years and have indicated in their agenda that some, or all, of the board members face a possible recall.

The suspended board members are facing various charges linked to corruption, abuse of public funds, sexual harassment of female referees and poor administration.

The ZIFA board, led by Kamambo, was suspended by the Sports Commission in November last year because of similar concerns.

Kweza yesterday said the councillors were sticking to their guns since the latest communication from FIFA did “not in any way opine that the scheduled EGM be cancelled, nor does it declare the EGM unlawful.”

“We have taken note of the email being circulated by the suspended ZIFA CEO, Mr Joseph Mamutse, purportedly emanating from FIFA.

“The contents therein are noted. Firstly, we note that the email constitutes a departure from the norm in that it is not on the official FIFA letterhead for authentication.

“We further note that it’s addressed to Sirs and we take this to refer to Messrs Kamambo and Mamutse and no one else in particular, in pursuant to their previous discussions (with FIFA) notwithstanding bail conditions being faced by Mr Kamambo.

“The letter does not in any way opine that the scheduled EGM be cancelled, neither does it declare the EGM unlawful,” said Kweza.

He added the letter was simply explaining what is already in the public domain in response to Kamambo’s query to FIFA and had nothing to do with the EGM.

“It reiterates the conditions for reinstatement to FIFA, which are already in the public domain and largely a matter between FIFA and the Government through the Sports and Recreation Commission.

“Apart from that we will not speculate on reasons, why then the said email would have been shared with the generality of all stakeholders, as this seems to be a private discussion between the parties. As such the EGM is proceeding as advised.

“The said EGM is convened in accordance with the ZIFA constitution. The ZIFA assembly remains the supreme authority in as far as ZIFA issues are concerned. We shall engage with FIFA at the appropriate time so as to ensure that a common ground is attained between the parties,” said Kweza.

Kamambo’s board was suspended by the Sports Commission in November last year.

He also has a pending case at the courts where he is jointly charged with suspended board members Philemon Machana and Stanley Chapeta for the fraudulent use of the association’s letterhead.

The trio were released on $100 000 bail, while the co-accused Joseph Mamutse and Bryton Malandule, were given free bail.

Part of the bail conditions included a ban on conducting business on behalf of ZIFA.

Recently Kamambo refused to represent ZIFA in a trial on fraud charges involving US$35 000, saying he was complying with the court’s bail conditions that compelled him to distance himself from the association’s affairs and bars him from representing it in any form.

The State acceded to the position and the matter was then postponed to April 26 (next Tuesday) as another official is sought to represent ZIFA in the trial.