ZIFA postpones Gift Banda hearing amid glaring omissions

A ZIFA disciplinary committee hearing to probe the case of suspended ZIFA vice-president Gift Banda was aborted this morning after Banda’s legal counsel raised objection over a wide array of glaring omissions.

Zim Morning Post understands that Banda’s legal team queried the composition of the committee and raised objection in that there had been no attempt to send documentation to the accused to allow him to adequately prepare his defence case.

“The meeting could not take place because among other things ZIFA president Felton Kamambo placed his personal lawyer to be the chair of the disciplinary committee,” said an insider who declined to be named.

Zim Morning Post understands that the hearing has now been moved to 11 April.

Reached for comment ZIFA president Kamambo maintained that he was out of the country and Zim Morning Post should get a comment from association spokesperson Xolisani Gwesela.

Gwesela declined to comment on the matter.

However, stakeholders say if the preliminary stages of the hearing continued to be handled this way, it will consequently open the Pandora’s Box leading to division of an already fragile family of football.

The ZIFA disciplinary comes after Banda was suspended by the ZIFA board on January 16 for ‘unilaterally’ firing Warriors assistant coaches Lloyd Mutasa and Rahman Gumbo before replacing them with Bongani Mafu and Tonderai

Some believe the alleged offence by Banda did not warrant suspension but a routine warning, adding that the heavy handedness of ZIFA on the matter proves that they are external wars being fought.

 “Were Mr Gift Banda’s constitutional rights respected or otherwise in the lead up to today’s hearing. Is it not that some individual who lost in the December polls has a hand in the suspension of Mr Banda. As if that were not enough the Bulawayo provincial chairman Francis Ntuta was also suspended by the Zifa Bulawayo province some of whose members are alleged associates of the individual in question over alleged financial irregularities.

“Is Mr Banda appearing before the appropriate judicial body since all cases involving football administrators the world over are heard by the ethics committee and no other judicial body,” queried a top ZIFA official who asked not to be named as they do not have permission to speak to the press.

The source added: “Given the above will all this suspension furore expose the constitutional deficiencies of the new administration which may be taken for a perpetuation of the previous administration’s recklessness.”