THE Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) is expected to announce its cutting of ties with Information minister Jonathan Moyo’s-created Warriors Trust next week amid a serious clash between the s
occer governing body and a grouping of pro-government business leaders.
IndependentSport heard this week that Education, Sports and Culture minister Aenias Chigwedere, who has previously been taking an observer’s position whilst Moyo pulled strings in the affairs of the national soccer team has ordered that Zifa and the Sports Commission stop working with the Warriors Trust.
Highly-placed sources revealed this week that Zifa will make an announcement setting out its relationship with the trust.
“The announcement will be made soon,” said a senior source at Zifa. “It will also be stated that the Warriors Trust has been making false claims that it has bailed out the national team when in fact, Zifa has been doing the usual – living from hand to mouth. It will be made clear that the trust is a political instrument.”
Moyo formed the Warriors Trust last year at the height of Zimbabwe’s turbulent campaign for a maiden qualification for the African Nations Cup finals held in Tunisia last month.
Chigwedere is on record castigating Moyo’s interference with his portfolio through his trust which the Sports minister described as “dubious”.
Zifa chief executive officer Edgar Rodgers this week wouldn’t comment on the pending announcement of the death knell to the Warriors Trust. He however reiterated that claims by the business people that they bailed out the national team were unfounded.
“The contract between Zifa and the Warriors Trust hasn’t been disbanded and for now I can’t discuss its future,” Rodgers said. “But, for the record, the Warriors Trust has not done anything for Zifa or the national team as has been claimed. Ask them if they have done anything besides sourcing the kit used by the Warriors in Tunisia. We have been paying for the planes. We paid, as Zifa, for the chartered plane that took the team to Malawi (last year) for the Cosafa Cup final as well as that to Tunisia for the Nations final.”
Rodgers said Zifa was in possession of receipts and documents to prove that they had paid for the planes to Malawi and Tunisia “as well as hotel and accommodation expenses for the Warriors”.
The Warriors Trust was locked in a series of meetings this week meant to “audit and reconcile all its activities” since it was established.
Karikoga Kaseke who resigned from the trust’s acting chairmanship post last week denied the allegations by Zifa.
Kaseke told IndependentSport that Sylvester Nguni, head of the financial committee in the trust will present an audited report after this week’s meetings to prove how the trust “immensely assisted the national team”.
“I don’t want to pre-empt the report by giving details of our activities with the Warriors. As we speak now, other trustees are meeting and we will call auditors that will compile a report on all our activities with the Warriors,” said Kaseke.
“A financial report will be presented and evidence will be shown of how we assisted the national team. Honestly it’s unfair for Zifa to say this. How much does a training kit cost? We bought eight sets of uniforms for the team’s campaign in Tunisia assuming that they would reach the final.
“We have evidence that we paid Air Zimbabwe US$110 000 for the chartered plane to Tunisia as well as that to Malawi. It is surprising that these guys at Zifa are making such comments.”
Efforts to reach both Zifa and the Warriors Trust had not yielded anything by the time of going to press.
The expected cancellation of the contract will also see out of the loop controversial Italian-based sports consultant firm L-Sporto, brought on board by the trust to supply kit to the national team.
L-Sporto kept the nation on edge until the last minute when the kit was delivered after the team had left for Tunisia.