Pamire faction threatens Zifa elections boycott


Itai Dzamara

ELECTIONS to choose a substantive chairman at the troubled Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) scheduled to take place in a fortnight could fail once again, IndependentSpor

t can reveal.


A faction at the beleaguered soccer association that wanted elections postponed two weeks ago by the High Court to go ahead, has resolved to boycott the November 8 elections. The elections have the backing of the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC).


The SRC succeeded in getting the High Court to block elections that had been planned by a faction backing Zifa acting chairman Vincent Pamire.


The High Court instead ruled that elections should be held on November 8 as agreed by the SRC.


Pamire will be contesting the Zifa board chairmanship against Northern Region chairman Francis Zimunya and founding Premier Soccer League chairman, Morrison Sifelani.


This paper established this week that the Pamire faction has mobilised councillors on its side to boycott next month’s elections. From the look of things, councillors who constitute less than a quorum would be available for the elections, making it unconstitutional to hold the plebiscite.


“We will not attend the November 8 elections,” said an influential member of the Pamire faction. “Let the SRC and their minister (Aenias Chigwedere, of Education, Sport and Culture) hold the elections. But we have made sure that there won’t be a quorum on the day.”


There appears to be no end in sight to the simmering Zifa leadership crisis which also implicates Chigwedere.


Chigwedere has made it clear that he recognises Charles Westerfall as the current head of the Zifa board and has created tension between himself and the SRC on the one hand and the Pamire faction with the backing of Information and Publicity minister, Jonathan Moyo, on the other.


Westerfall, who had earlier resigned from the Zifa board, was appointed acting chairman by Zifa councillors at a Harare meeting held in August. The meeting passed a vote of no confidence in Pamire.


The Pamire faction stayed away from the meeting, only to organise one in Bulawayo that proclaimed null and void the Harare decision to show Pamire the exit.


When former chairman Leo Mugabe was ousted at the beginning of the year, the nation hoped for an end, or at least a respite to the perennial problems at Zifa. This was, however, not to be.


Pamire, who led the boardroom coup that ousted Mugabe, was to face the same predicament that had haunted his predecessor and a battle to remove him ensued and dominated the Zifa calendar for a good part of the year.

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