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Knives out for Mashingaidze

Zifa chief executive officer Jonathan Mashingaidze is said to have caused a stir during Friday’s board meeting as his conduct topped the agenda, further dividing members.


A section of the board has always accused Mashingaidze of overriding the board in making key decisions without consultation.
Mashingaidze and Zifa president Cuthbert Dube were not reachable for comment yesterday.

Sources close to what transpired during the meeting say a certain group within the board however came in defence of Mashingaidze, instigating fierce debate.

Some board members, according to the sources, tore into the chief executive, probing why he has been blocking board member responsible for finance Bernard Gwarada from accessing Zifa books.

He was also said to have been questioned why he submitted to CAF the bid for the 2017 Afcon bid without the approval of the board.

Also taking centre stage was his manner of informing late all board members to accompany the president to appear before the parliamentary portfolio committee for education, sports, arts and culture on Thursday.

“Most of the debate was around Mashingaidze. It was disheartening to see some arguing that he is handling Zifa business the normal way he had always done during the previous board. They were busy defending him by constantly saying it is correct that the secretariat operates that way,” said the sources.

“Those very same people were saying that we are emotional and taking things personal. Imagine we received emails after business hours on Wednesday that we should attend parliament. I wonder why he was holding on to that information.”

There was also discussion on the manner members conducted themselves in Parliament where Gwarada, for the first time, publicly raised concern on being frustrated to work on Zifa finances.
The meeting heighted speculation that the anti-Mashingaidze board members could be booted out of Zifa at Saturday’s extraordinary meeting.

The issue of divisions within the board is said to have been discussed for the better part of the five-hour meeting.

Sources say Zifa president Cuthbert Dube who chaired the meeting however hinted at reining in Mashingaidze.

“The president appeared surprised as usual. But he later showed concern. He promised to normalise relations amongst board members,” the sources said.

“He said we need to work together to mend these divisions. We just hope he was sincere when he said that. It is however still a possibility that some board members might be expelled at the extraordinary general meeting. That cannot be ruled out.”

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