BY TERRY MADYAUTA
SUSPENDED Zifa board members have trashed the call for an emergency general meeting (EGM) on January 29, saying the secretariat had “no authority” to convene such a gathering.
Zifa spokesperson Xolisani Gwesela wrote to the seven suspended board members inviting them to the meeting, which was likely to culminate in a revocation of the suspended board’s mandate.
The board members, who include Felton Kamambo, Philemon Machana, Brighton Malandule, Sugar Chagonda, Stanley Chapeta, Barbara Chikosi and Farai Jere, are being accused of misusing COVID-19 relief funds, sweeping sexual abuse allegations under the carpet and equally turning a blind eye to match-fixing accusations, among other transgressions.
The board members have shredded Gwesela’s invitation saying that while they were eager to set the record straight, they will only do so guided by the dictates of the constitution.
They argue that only the executive committee can convene such a meeting and only when they have failed to do so can the general-secretary (Joseph Mamutse) take up the role.
Mamutse was suspended by the Sports and Recreation Commission together with the other board members.
While the SRC endorsed the EGM, with chairman Gerald Mlotshwa describing the development as “interesting”, the board members have poured cold water on the January 29 meeting.
Last week, Gwesela, who according to the SRC is the acting general-secretary, revealed that 27 councillors had demanded the EGM before setting the dates.
The board members yesterday responded: “This letter serves to advise all Zifa congress delegates that the purported invitation to an EGM by Zifa competitions and communications manager, Gwesela is null and void ab initio, of no legal force and must be ignored.
“Gwesela has neither delegated or real authority or capacity to legally, officially or constitutionally call for such a EGM meeting.
“We advise that such a meeting is yet to be sanctioned by the Zifa board upon fulfilment of the pre-requisites as requested on Monday January 3, 2022, which include written confirmation by the 27 delegates or at least a third of the Zifa members that, indeed, they are the petitioners behind the request.
“You are aware we did indicate that the request came through an unknown and unofficial email address and since this issue involves the revocation of some or all executive committee members, the legitimacy of the whole process must not be doubtful and above board.”
The fights between Zifa and the SRC have divided the former, with the secretariat of the former seemingly having taken the SRC side.
“We are not sure how Gwesela verified such in the absence of these confirmations as claimed in his ‘invitation’, how he intends to fund same (maybe from SRC who have been accusing others of inducements), how and where he got the mandate to act on behalf of the Zifa board and Zifa head of secretariat on a matter that is clearly a preserve of the board, how he concluded that the board had failed or would fail to convene the purported EGM before the constitutionally prescribed 90 working days and how he arrived at a conclusion that a Fifa-recognised board is not a proper board to the extent he could replace it and usurp the powers of the board.”
The board members insist that they are not trying to block the EGM.
“In light of the aforementioned, please take note that no EGM has yet been set and when it does, you shall be all informed accordingly.
“This is not in any way to suggest the board is avoiding such, but simply that everything must be done procedurally and constitutionally.
“The board is keen to have these so-called charges from the alleged 27 delegates fully ventilated so that those who spread falsehoods and sell their souls to a third parties are exposed.”
While the drama unfolds back home, the Warriors, who are in Cameroon, stare at the grim prospect of being recalled from the tournament after Fifa demanded that the suspended board members be reinstated.