PARLIAMENT yesterday said it is deeply worried by Zifa’s behaviour after the football mother body yet again snubbed a meeting with the Portfolio Committee on Sport, Arts and Culture.
The portfolio committee which is chaired by Hurungwe West MP Temba Mliswa had summoned Zifa and the Sports Recreation Commission (SRC) to appear before the committee to answer to concerns by lawmakers particularly to do with tomorrow’s elections for the president, vice-president and four board members.
However, only the SRC attended while Zifa said they could not make it as they had more pressing issues to deal with.
Zifa communications officer Xolisani Gwesela said they were busy preparing for tomorrow’s elections and would only be free after that.
“We have a very congested schedule, so we wrote a letter to the committee seeking a postponement of the meeting and it was granted. We have a number of reasons which we outlined in the letter why we could not attend.
“We have a board meeting to prepare for tomorrow (today). We also have to prepare for the arrival of Fifa officials led by Ashford Mamelodi this afternoon (yesterday) and we also have the Saturday AGM and elections to prepare for. That makes our hands very full. We will be able to attend after the elections,” Gwesela said.
Zifa vice-president Ndumiso Gumede and chief executive officer Jonathan Mashingaidze will be expected back from Switzerland to attend today’s board meeting.
Mliswa admitted receiving the letter from Zifa, but said he was worried by their continued snub. He instructed the SRC to rein in on Zifa and “see to it that they appear” before the portfolio committee “soon”.
Yesterday’s no-show was not the first time Zifa had done so as they snubbed another invite by the portfolio committee last December.
Even in Zifa’s absence yesterday, Mliswa still raised concerns over tomorrow’s elections especially on the nomination fees set by Zifa which he said parliamentarians have agreed are “excessive and prohibitive”.
The former football fitness trainer wanted to know why the SRC gave the thumbs-up to the fee. The nomination fee for the candidates vying for a position of a board member in the association is $5 000. It was initially set at $10 000 before Zifa backed down to some pressure from the public and slashed it down,but some still feel that the fee is too steep.
SRC director-general Charles Nhemachena said they had no power to stop Zifa from doing so as it would have been deemed government interference which attracts a severe penalty from Fifa.
“We had asked them to review the fee to that which was charged for the 2010 election ($500), but their justification was that they didn’t have money and the candidates had to meet the election costs,” Nhemachena said.