THE root cause of ZIFA’s problems is a flawed constitution that facilitated some semi-literate councillors to be transported to the bright lights of the city, fed and lodged in comfortable accommodation, paid per diems and were happy to cast their vote in favour of their ‘blessers’, the ZIFA Restructuring Committee has noted.
The Restructuring Committee also noted that the flawed constitution allows for the eventual election of persons equally flawed in character and integrity who lack basic management skills.
“It is readily discernible from the committee’s recommendations that the root cause of ZIFA’s problems is a deeply flawed and outdated constitution whose details are unknown to the greater number of its members.
“The ZIFA constitution, because of its flawed nature, allows for the eventual election of persons equally flawed in character and integrity, and lacking in basic management skills. These persons are incapable of separating the affairs of ZIFA from their personal needs and ambitions, financial and otherwise.
“It is for this reason that any previous attempts of reforms within ZIFA became highly charged and personalised affairs, with incumbent office holders viewing themselves as being attacked as individuals rather than the organisation itself or the office held within ZIFA. ZIFA was being run as a fiefdom,” reads part of the Restructuring Committee’s recommendations.
The Restructuring Committee further noted that: “During hearings, it became apparent that some ZIFA stakeholders, including the so-called ‘councillors’ had never seen a copy of the association’s constitution. These same councillors occupied office without limit of tenure. Some appeared to be semi-literate.
“The general view was that ZIFA Congress simply rubberstamped the decisions of the executive committee on football matters: as long as they were transported to the bright lights of the city, fed and lodged in comfortable accommodation with all its temptations — and paid per diems, they were happy to cast their vote in favour of their ‘blessers’.”
The ZIFA Restructuring Committee noted that junior and women football had suffered neglect and misrepresentation.
“There is no junior football development programme within ZIFA. This is mainly because FIFA and CAF funding meant for grassroots development was diverted to financing operational expenses such as salaries, sitting allowances, per diems for ZIFA members and travel costs associated with the same.
“Presently, there is no junior league which should start with Under- 9’s to Under-18’s. ZIFA does not administer school football development programmes. There is no player and activity monitoring system.
“There is no supreme body overseeing all levels of the development of women’s football at all levels. Leagues are none operational owing to a lack of funding.
“Women should be empowered to manage their own affairs in football. Key to this is allowing them to have direct access to FIFA funding so that it is applied to intended purposes. Women should be included at all levels of the game’s administration on a quota system.”
In December 2021, the SRC appointed a restructuring committee to look into the issues bedevilling football administration in Zimbabwe.
The committee was to commission a forensic audit report, as well as consult widely in compiling its recommendations regarding the state and restructuring of football administration in Zimbabwe.
The ZIFA Restructuring Committee’s tenure ended at the end of last year in accordance with the provisions of its terms of reference.
| Sunday Mail