Constitutionalism, a bedrock for football progress in Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) have been peeing on the constitution for long and the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) have been sleeping on the BMW wheel for the length of the commission. 
Hope Chizuzu, Sports Reporter

Somebody had to say it, one day. It had to happen. Rains had to drop. Yes, even dictators have graves. 

Royalty dies and the mystery of their resting places are kept in mysterious perpetuity. Even the prophets of God and those of men die. 

Lies die several times daily and the only thing that endures forever is the TRUTH.

And the truth has stood all tests including even the beauty contests organised by men and judged by men for men. Yes, Robson Sharuko, not the darling of many, not so much for his Manchester United love, but more so for his huge frame and the gift of the other beauty. 

His hew is emphatically plain, his smile sly yet his grin is OGS-Isque……ala post Atlanta escape from furnace the other night.

He started a topical issue, whose narrative must be, for the longest time been, the beat of the newspaper space he runs. 

Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) have been peeing on the constitution for long and the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) have been sleeping on the BMW wheel for the length of the commission. 

Can we allow the SRC to be the pall bearers of our game to the grave? Can President ED allow that to happen, given he is the appointing authority? 

What is so special about Zifa, that the tired threat of Fifa police cows the whole country into paid silence?

Well, the Zifa constitution as amended in 2013 is the only document that runs the game in this country. 

The Page can reveal here and now that no other affiliate, real or imagined has a copy of the constitution that is registered with the FA. What that means is, in the absence of such document, the constitution that governs the whole football is the Zifa constitution.

Former Women football boss, Mirriam Sibanda paid the heavy prize for daring write and propose a constitution to run women football. Then football henchman Jonathan Mashingaidze ensured she was iced out of football and the rest is history. Her crime was dare propose a constitution to enable women football to be run on legally defined lines.

Mashingaidze, no doubt the creator of all this mess now haunting us, wanted everyone to operate on just the Zifa constitution, which explains why no affiliate has a working registered constitution. 

Not one. Yes, not even the Northern Region, where Sweeney Mushonga has already been going round proposing people to run the game. 

Mushonga, the most ineligible candidate for any football position or discourse at any level in this country, has been in the trenches for nearly two decades now.

Mushonga, alone has been secretary general of Northern region for more than 10 years before, deciding nekutonyara to change and become treasurer of the same region in the last election. 

And as if that is not bad enough, he has silenced everyone into not having elections to replace the late Willard Manyengavana (MHSRIP). 

Martin Kweza (then vice chairman) was installed, without election, as Manyengavana replacement.

The move allowed Mushonga, yes, Mushonga to become the acting vice chairman. Hold on a bit. He did not drop the treasurer position. So, Mushonga holds acting chairman position and treasurer at Northern Region. 

Two positions. One man. All this is happening without a scant consideration of the Zifa constitution. But then one could ask: Is Machana not doing the same? 

He is the acting Zifa vice President, there is no provision for that from the statutes and still holds his position as chair of the all too powerful finance committee?

So, in all this the constitution has been torn to shreds, yet our esteemed SRC have kept their silence splendid. Really? 

For the avoidance of any doubt, the Zifa terms of office for anyone holding a position from Area Zones to Executive committee is simply two four year terms, meaning one can only be in office, longest for eight years. 

This also includes the very useless but votes rich NAPH, NASH and Tertiary. Those three bring six votes to the assembly but the electoral committee, the office charged with running the elections for all office bearers, have no authority over them as these independently do their thing as their power of attorney resides elsewhere. Government, if you ask me.

Now is the time to correct all the wrongs and where appropriate, charge the offenders with bringing football into disrepute. 

The constitutional mandate for Zifa has been religiously followed that the term of office runs until March 30, meaning the last Saturday closest to that date or just a day or 2 after if circumstances forces but never beyond that.

Since independence (1982) the elective AGM for Zifa has been held without failure every World Cup year and by March 30. 

Even in years there have been turbulence and recalls (vote of no confidence), it has not missed the deadline until Phil Chiyangwa ate the constitution and allowed himself illegally to run from March until December 2018, without subjecting the assembly to election.

The moment that was allowed meant everything else thereafter was a constitutional disaster and an illegality. We expected the SRC to act then. They did not. Edward Siwela, then SRC chair was terrified out of his wits to raise a finger. 

He was even arrested on some nefarious charges to instil fear in him until he was pulled out of his misery. 

He has never wanted to discuss anything football or Zifa since. He even refused an interview from The Page …..kkkkkkkk. The old man is still so much traumatized.

Someone has to step in and restored order and the SRC have the best opportunity for that now, if only they are not burdened with some often unforeseen baggage that may come in various forms. 

Football has operated as an illegality since 2018. Every member that set in that elective AGM on December 15, 2018 at Cresta Lodge, did not have a locus standi to meet.

By the time they held their various elections, they had lost their rights to meet and therefore not eligible. That is where the problem lied and schemers want the same now because they know the plan works. 

Will the SRC allow this Zifa to continue with this daylight killing of our game? All these Loga moments with our Warriors are results from having the wrong people in office.

Since the Fifa sanctioned roadmap was used, the Area Zones should have elections by October of the preceding elective AGM, which AGM takes place by March 30 of the World Cup year. That sets the calendar. So, if by the end of this October, in nine days’ time, Area Zones without elections means, their mandates are up and have ceased to be members of Zifa (Art 10). 

Even for this November 11 AGM called for by Zifa, they are not legible for, meaning that already that meeting is an exercise in futility and waste of the USD740 270K, which Machana claims was never abused.

This has been the trend until Chiyangwa deliberately failed to have an AGM the whole of 2017, which meant no one was given an opportunity to renew their mandates. Even Felton Kamambo and the late Pirai Mabhena resigned in protest of that. 

So, has the same been allowed to happen again if it is not deliberate? Why is the SRC quiet again? Kamambo, now Zifa President, knows what he is doing. He knows no one will say a thing and that the constitution is simply some toilet paper called to work when there is need and discarded after use……off course it is not a condom but……

The SRC registered Zifa constitution, requires that any member is in office for eight years maximum and they subject themselves to election every four years – meaning Area Zones which get into office by October, their mandates expire by the same period after four years, same for provinces, regions, beach soccer, futsal, women, NAPH, NASH, Tertiary, PSL and Executive Committee, whose term is last to expire by March.

We cannot entertain crooks that deliberately soil the process to pick the spoils in the dust. 

If Sharuko sticks to this beat and letter, I do not even mind my Liverpool sharing the spoils on Sunday…..he has done enough mitigation already..kkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk

  • Hope Chizuzu is an investigative journalist based in Harare. He can be contacted on Twitter @Hchizuzu or WhatsApp +263715001628
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