ZIFA is seeking to weather a sustained storm to scupper ongoing elections as the process continues this weekend with the Premier Soccer League elections pitting Caps boss Twine Phiri and Dynamos chairman Kenni Mubaiwa.
By Kevin Mapasure
Women’s football regional elections are also on concurrently.
Last week lawyer Saidi Sangula petitioned the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) to stop the elections on the grounds that the association had flouted its own constitution, drawing particular attention to the composition of the 11 member electoral committee.
The SRC wrote to Zifa requesting a response to the concerns raised by Sangula.
Zifa general secretary Jonathan Mashingaidze responded in a letter addressed to the SRC director general Charles Nhemachena, arguing that everything had been done above board and Sangula had misinterpreted the constitution.
Sangula had argued that only Zifa members should constitute the electoral committee, adding that the people running the elections were not qualified to do so.
Part of Mashingaidze’s letter reads: “Mr Sangula used the restrictive rule of interpretation of statutes in his definition of what members of Zifa are. In terms of Article 10 of the Zifa Constitution members of Zifa are, in short, Zifa affiliates. No natural person can be a member of Zifa’s ‘sensu stricto’ (in the strict sense) and hence if strictly interpreted, no one would qualify to be a member of the electoral committee. The correct interpretation would then be that anyone who is or has been involved with the football family (Zifa) would then qualify.”
He added that it would not make sense to have participants running the elections.
“The affiliates’ representatives are the Zifa delegates who contest in elections and surely those people, while they represent Zifa members, cannot run elections that they are participating in. One cannot be a participant and referee at the same time. The electoral committee is therefore properly constituted and must be allowed to conduct the process in peace.”
Mashingaidze also said interference by the SRC was against both Fifa and Zifa statutes and there was an appeal process if anyone was aggrieved.
“Mr Sangula appears to be requesting your good office to interfere with the democratic process of elections, and with all due respect that request, coming from a lawyer, is surprising since the Zifa Constitution, Fifa statutes and the electoral code itself prohibit such conduct.”