Gift Banda hits back at ZIFA…..demands forensic audit

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Bulawayo-Suspended ZIFA vice president Gift Banda said he did not act unconstitutionally by making Warriors technical team changes and called for an urgent forensic audit, citing mismanagement of funds in the first month
the Felton Kamambo leadership took over the reins from Phillip Chiyangwa .

Banda was suspended by ZIFA president Felton Kamambo last week after he was accused of usurping the powers of the board, after he announced changes to the Warriors and Under-23 technical teams whilst he acted as the president while Kamambo was away in Senegal where he had gone to attend the Confederation of African Football (Caf) Awards.

Banda replaced Warriors assistant coaches Rahman Gumbo and Lloyd Mutasa with Bongani Mafu and Tonderayi Ndiraya, but Kamambo reversed the decision
upon his return.

“Banda illegally and unilaterally without authority of the board,unconstitutionally usurped the powers of the executive committee as enshrined in section 34 (k) of the ZIFA constitution that delegate the sole responsibility of appointing national team coaches and other technical
staff to the Zifa executive committee and not individuals,” Kamambo said last week.

Addressing members of the media , Banda said there was nothing unconstitutional from his appointment of the new technical staff as he had deliberated on the matter with the Kamambo led board.

“It must be noted that the reason for my suspension was that I announced the changes to the senior national teams when I was acting-president of the association, of which the president himself Felton Kamambo was aware of the
subject.

Prior to his trip to Senegal, Kamambo and myself extensively deliberated on the changes and some of the board members were aware of those discussions,
how then the president flip-flopped to say he was in the dark surprises me.
“Note that before he embarked on his trip to Senegal he came to Bulawayo
(Banda’s base) where we spoke about these changes.

Then the decisions I made on behalf of the association as acting president
were never to bring the game of football into disrepute, but were in good
faith of stabilizing our game and strengthen the structures of the national
teams,” said Banda.

Banda added that Kamambo is the one who went forward to make a decision pertaining the extension of coach Sunday Chidzambga’s contract without
consulting the board.

“Remember Sunday Chidzambgwa’s contract had expired on December 31, 2018 but the president Kamambo is on record assuring the national team head coach that he was guaranteed of a contract extension even without the input
of the ZIFA board. I believe Kamambo should have recused himself from the subject that led to my suspension as he was an interested party as enshrined in article 35 (3) of the ZIFA constitution which deals with decisions of the executive committee.
Besides, article 34 (k) says the ZIFA executive committee “shall appoint the coaches for representative teams and other technical staff”.

It doesn’t specifically say how many board members can make such a decision, it also doesn’t provide a framework of the sanctions that should be applied in the event of transgression in this area.

The suspension could be an indication that the board is no different from the previous one that deliberately flouted the constitution by suspending members while there were no judiciary bodies to hear the matters,” added
Banda.

Banda went further to reveal that there was mismanagement of funds that the troubled football mother body received from FIFA.

ZIFA is reported to have received a total of USD $170 000 from the world football body, FIFA in December.

Banda claims the money which was sent into ZIFA’s nostro account was channeled to illegal markets popularly known as the black market.

“What surprises me is that the animosity arose after ZIFA received funds from FIFA in December. The board was supposed to decide how funds were to be used or distributed.

“Money came from FIFA into our (ZIFA) nostro account but I have never heard anyone from the ZIFA creditors who has been paid their money from the nostro account.

“I refuse to have my image tainted by operating outside the legal framework like using the funds outside an open market.

For the general public I wish there could be a forensic audit for the one month we took over, we can engage stakeholders who are willing to finance the audit as I know ZIFA would say there is no money for that, the audit will help clean ourselves as an association,” said Banda.

Speaking to ZIFA spokesperson Xolisani Gwesela, he rubbished claims of underhand dealings.

“As Zimbabwe’s football governing body we will take any accusations of misappropriation of funds head on as our hands are clean. This comes as suspended Vice President Gift Banda threatened to expose rot allegedly
obtaining in the country’s football governing body.

Those are baseless claims bordering largely on speculation, ZIFA books are
audited by a reputable auditing firm. This board values corporate
governance, transparency and accountability. ZIFA can never be involved in such financial mischief,” said Gwesela.

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