Sikhumbuzo Moyo, Senior Sports Reporter
IN a development substantiating claims that Zifa doesn’t want Gift Banda to return to local football administration, the national association now officially recognises executive committee member Phillimon Machana as its vice-president.

This was revealed in an August 3 letter by Zifa chief executive officer Joseph Mamutse to one of the four Bulawayo Metropolitan Province  executive members that resigned Charles Ndlovu.

Mamutse was informing Ndlovu and fellow board members that resigned with him that their decision to revoke their resignation had been rejected by Zifa.

While the contents of the letter seemed to have a lot of constitutional and legal loopholes, questions arose when Mamutse chose to copy Machana as the Zifa vice-president.

Despite the constitution not providing for an acting vice-president, Machana has until recently been identifying himself as the acting Zifa vice-president following Banda’s controversial suspension a few weeks after landing the vice-presidency post in the 2018 elections.

In the letter, Mamuste copied Zifa president Felton Kamambo, and designated Machana as vice-president as well as other Zifa executive committee members and Zifa Bulawayo Province.

It is the first time in the history of Zifa that an executive committee member has been appointed acting vice-president and to be substantiated when the incumbent hasn’t been dismissed.

When former Zifa vice-president Omega Sibanda was suspended during the Cuthbert Dube era, his position was never replaced by anyone, acting or substantive because that provision is not there in the association’s constitution.

Replacement of an executive committee member only occurs, according to Article 32 Section Nine,  if a member dies, resigns or misses, without an excuse, three consecutive meetings.

In that case the executive committee fills that position until the next congress when a replacement will be elected for the remaining term of mandate.

Banda is not deceased, neither has he resigned and has only missed executive committee meetings due to his controversial suspension.