By Rusununguko Shone
SENSING impending danger from rumoured dissension within the ZIFA assembly, association president Felton Kamambo led a three men team around the country to reassure the electorate under the guise of discussing Covid-19 disbursements, which had already been allocated.
In tow was Phillemon Machana, the man responsible for the ZIFA purse recently credited with US$1.8 million and Brighton Malandule the referees committee chairperson.
The first of the hurriedly organised interface rallies was held in Harare on the afternoon of the 13th while two brief ones were held on the 14th in Gweru and Bulawayo.
The final one took place in Mutare, a region allegedly in unison with the Premier Soccer League (PSL) in demanding payment in United States dollars.
As expected, the regional leadership, together with some from the provinces, area zones and women’s football, vehemently disparaged PSL for demanding US dollars while the Zimbabwean dollar is legal tender.
Machana took time to explain why it was beneficial for beneficiaries to accept local currency pay outs.
PSL was castigated for its big brother mentality, especially after the elite league governors coaxed the ZIFA executive committee, using insider Farai Jere who is the PSL chair, into dedicating US$215,000 into the premiership.
After the weekend meetings, US$86 000 was chalked off the initial PSL allocation and added to regions and provinces.
Envious of the huge PSL allocation, the lesser affiliates felt that the ‘big brother’ was being given preferential treatment while it has only 18 members, which is a fraction of clubs in provinces and regions.
PSL governors reportedly ruffled a feather when they ‘stripped’ Machana of his acting vice presidency, which they correctly said is unconstitutional.
To spite PSL, a vindictive Machana went into all the four regional meetings with a strategy to coerce assembly members into endorsing payment of COVID-19 relief in local currency.
His cronies from the Northern Region, Sweeny Mushonga, Martin Kweza and Gilbert Saika got the ball rolling in Harare and their word was repeated at the subsequent three meetings to lead others into accepting the proposal.
Ironically, the six-member executive committee shared US$100 000 from the relief fund, in hard currency.