Zifa councillors are on high alert of any attempts by the Zifa board to suspend some of them before the decisive October 3 extraordinary general meeting (EGM) that is likely to end Cuthbert Dube’s five-year reign as the association’s president.
BY MICHAEL MADYIRA
With Zimbabwean football at its lowest ebb, Dube survived a coup on a technicality during last weekend’s joint annual general meeting and EGM.
A staggering 43 out of the 51 councillors who attended the meeting voted for October’s EGM whose main agenda will be to kick Dube out of Zifa.
Most of Dube’s once-trusted assembly members have switched camp and have been among the most vocal in baying for his ouster.
Cautious of a possible plan to suspend councillors, a strategy that Dube and his secretary general Jonathan Mashingaidze have allegedly been using to weaken any revolt against them, most councillors said they were geared for such a move.
The councillors said they expected the 12 councillors who were suspended in July to be first in the firing line. They were suspended for convening an “illegal” meeting that revoked Dube’s mandate in May before Fifa sensationally reversed the decision. They were reinstated after they apologised.
After being pardoned, the 12 led the push to show Dube the exit door last weekend and have now been red-marked as a dangerous and rebellious clique.
“We have got wind that the board has started efforts to kick us out of Zifa before the EGM,” said one of the councillors who requested anonymity.
“They have already asked for minutes of meetings held by all affiliates so that they see if we ever discussed the impending overthrow of the president. This is a desperate measure. As from this region [name supplied], the minutes of our last meeting are still in draft form and yet to be confirmed by members. They are not signed yet and not ready for distribution.
“The head office is also asking for the list of all board members of affiliates. If they use that to suspend us, it would be unfair. The board should just accept that they have failed the nation. Right now we are failing to secure sponsorship in our regions and provinces because of this circus. Prospective sponsors are saying they will only help us if we get rid of these leaders.”
Although such an exercise (to suspend councillors ahead of the EGM) would be a blatant disregard of the Zifa constitution, the current regime is reportedly known for flouting the charter at will.
Another councillor said during last weekend’s meeting, Dube pleaded for another chance as Zifa boss but to no avail. He said the president nailed himself with what appeared to be a lame suggestion when he proposed that Zifa open a bottle store business that would assist in offsetting the association’s debts.
“We laughed our lungs out,” said the councillor. “A bottle store is usually a family business and how can it sustain a national football association. His suggestion was a big joke.”
After last weekend’s meeting, Fifa development officer for Southern and Eastern Africa Ashford Mamelodi however assured the councillors that they would not be victimised between now and October 3.
He however warned them against misconduct which could see some of them being kicked out.
“As far as their conduct in this meeting is concerned, they are protected. There is no need for them to be afraid. They are not going to be suspended for being in this meeting. But I told them that if they step out of this meeting and misbehave, Fifa will not have anything to do with it. That would be their own case to deal with,” said Mamelodi