HARARE lawyer Saidi Sangula’s bid to stop the 2014 Zifa elections scheduled for this weekend still hangs in the balance as High Court judge Justice Francis Bere is today set to deliver his ruling on preliminary issues raised by the football body yesterday.
SENIOR COURT REPORTER
Zifa’s lawyer Ralph Maganga, who has instructed advocate Lewis Uriri to handle the matter, yesterday told our sister paper NewsDay Sport that his client had raised some initial issues which the court would rule today paving the way for the possible completion of the matter.
“We raised some preliminary issues today (yesterday) and the judge will give his determination on them tomorrow (today). If the court is going to rule against us then we will go into the merits of the case following which judgment will be delivered the same day,” Maganga said.
Sangula, who is also a committee member of Premier Soccer League (PSL) side ZPC Kariba, had his case brought before the High Court last Wednesday before it was again moved to Friday the same week.
However, his lawyer Eric Matinenga requested for more time on Friday to study the opposing papers that had been filed by the country’s football mother body.
Zifa and the Sport and Recreation Commission are cited as the first and second respondents respectively.
In his heads of arguments, on behalf of Zifa, Uriri argues Sangula has not exhausted the football channels as stated in the new Zifa constitution which indicates that any appeals against the election should be brought before the Electoral Appeals Committee and dealt with within 96 hours.
He further argues the High Court has no jurisdiction to hear this case since the association’s constitution was very clear on matters involving disputes that are supposed to be directed to the Electoral Appeals Committee.
Uriri said Article 60 of the Zifa constitution prohibited taking football matters to court and by so doing Sangula was in violation of the clauses of the same constitution which he claimed to uphold.
Apparently, Sangula intends to contest in the elections and contends that if the polls are not stopped he would suffer irreparable damage. His major issue is that the composition of the Electoral Committee is illegal.
While the High Court case is pending, the Electoral Committee on Saturday last week cleared all the four candidates that are set to contest for the Zifa presidency. Candidates for the vice-presidency and four board posts will be cleared tomorrow.
Incumbent Zifa president Cuthbert Dube is seeking another four-year term and faces the challenge of former association chairman Trevor Carelse-Juul, former PSL secretary-general Leslie Gwindi and Aces Youth Soccer Academy founder Nigel Munyati.
Munyati is a member of the current board and is in charge of the marketing portfolio and says the association needs to clear the $5 million debt hanging over it, enter into technical sponsorships that will give Zifa money and do more for youth development.
Carelse-Juul held his first press conference in Harare on Saturday and believes he has the Midas touch to reclaim Zimbabwe’s glory.