Reinstate ZIFA Board: CAF
THE Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) insists that it will not back down on its decision to suspend the Zifa board despite the Confederation of African Football (Caf) calling for the reinstatement of the Felton Kamambo-led board.
SRC board chairman Gerald Mhlotswa and the minister of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation Kirsty Coventry had a no holds barred Zoom meeting with Caf secretary general, Véron Mosengo-Omba on Friday.
The SRC boss said during the meeting, Mosengo-Omba demanded that Kamambo and his board be reinstated after their suspension in November last year.
Mosengo-Omba, a former regional manager of Fifa’s member associations division for Africa and the Caribbean, was reportedly adamant that the fraud and sexual harassment charges laid against the Zifa board members were just allegations.
“I find it incredible that Caf continues to insist that we reinstate fraudsters and sexual predators, who have cases pending before the courts in Zimbabwe. Caf appears to think that Fifa statues rule supreme over Zimbabwe law,” Mlotshwa said in a statement yesterday.
The prominent lawyer also accused Mosengo-Omba of using a derogatory term against him and Sports minister Coventry. The Caf official is said to have quipped “what is wrong with us Africans in always interfering with football matters.”
“I was extremely concerned when Vernon referred to the minister and I as ‘you Africans’ in a derogatory tone of voice. I recorded the entire conversation. I now know why Fifa find it difficult to deal conclusively with corruption, racism and sexual harassment in football. It’s a part of their culture. That much is obvious,” he said.
SRC suspended the Zifa board on November 16, 2001 on a litany of charges, which include gross incompetence, failure to account for public funds and sexual abuse of female referees, among others.
While other board members namely Farai Jere, Sugar Chagonda and Barbara Chikosi have accepted the suspension, Kamambo and other excecutive committee members Philimon Machana and Stanley Chapeta along with suspended secretary general Mamutse, continued to defy their suspensions.
Last Saturday the trio of Kamambo, his board member finance Machana and Chapeta were arrested on fraud charges and are currently out on bail pending trial.