Banda tears into ZIFA board colleagues

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Sikhumbuzo Moyo in BULAWAYO
ZIFA vice president Gift Banda, who has spent more than 18 months on suspension, has torn into his fellow board members, accusing them of attempting to shut him out of the national football administration system.

In his sworn affidavit presented to the ZIFA Appeals Board on Friday during a condonation application by the association, Banda said he was puzzled the country’s football leaders were of the view the game’s judicial processes operated in the same manner as the country’s courts of law.

The ZIFA Appeals Board, said Banda, was governed by the constitutive documents and, as such, there was no provision for an application to be sought after the committee has already made its pronouncement.

He said the move by ZIFA was just another example of clutching on to straws as had become their habit, throughout his case.

Banda twice won his case and, twice, ZIFA have refused to abide by the judgement of their judicial bodies which have cleared the former Njube Sundowns owner.

He said the condonation application was, therefore, an incompetent and futile attempt by the association to continue enjoying the attention of the Appeals Committee.

Through his lawyer, Munyaradzi Nzarayapenga, of DBN and Partners, Banda also rubbished a resolution by the ZIFA executive committee that appointed chief executive, Joseph Mamutse, as the association’s representative in the matter.

ZIFA say they reached that decision on June 6, 2020.

Banda said since he had been cleared by the disciplinary committee, he was, therefore, supposed to be part of the executive committee meeting which came up with that resolution, in terms of Article 33 of the ZIFA constitution.

“I am unaware of the 21-day notice given for such a meeting. Most notably, I never exercised my right to vote on this subject as I ought to have,’’ Banda said in his affidavit.

“This resolution is, therefore, defective and of no consequence and the meeting, on this which this application is based is, therefore, a nullity.’’

He said, as far as he was concerned, in his capacity as the second in charge at ZIFA and, based on the disciplinary committee’s ruling, he was never a part to the meeting that appointed Mamutse to represent the association in the matter.

He said Mamutse’s authority to represent ZIFA, on the strength of a resolution purporting to come from the executive committee, was defective and his exclusion from the purported meeting rendered it a legal nullity.

Banda also challenged the association’s defence that it could not avail proof of appeal fees payment because the receipt was in possession of their accountant, Liberty Mateveke, who could not get into town because of the national lockdown as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We are expected to understand that of all the applicant’s employees, this one failed to get into town from his home,’’ said Banda’s lawyers.

“We are further expected to understand that he goes to his home with receipts, including appeal fees receipts, particularly the one on question.

“We are also expected to understand that if anything should require when he is not present, from either home or office, the totality of proofs of monetary receipts will go missing, crucially together with him.

“It’s even stranger that there is no word from Liberty Mateveke himself.

“There is nothing to even suggest that this Liberty Mateveke exists. It is just Joseph Mamutse’s word against reason.

“Unless this Liberty Mateveke is still trying to make it into the CBD then nothing explains the absence of a supporting affidavit from him.”

He said the Appeals Committee had, therefore, before it, a spurious document purporting to be a receipt, a person purporting to be custodian of receipts who also purportedly failed to get into town from an unknown location where it mattered most.

There was also no explanation, argued Banda, as to what he was doing with the receipt at his home and also as to why he is the only living being allowed custody to receipts.

Stung by the defendant’s outline, ZIFA lawyer, Chenaimoyo Gumiro, who last week survived sacking from the association whose bosses were accusing him of siding with Banda, requested for a postponement of the hearing so that he could prepare his response.

The Appeals Committee, headed by Stead Kachere, accepted his request and postponed the matter to July 6.