Sikhumbuzo Moyo, Acting Sports Editor

THE ZIFA executive committee has co-opted Central Region chairman Stanley Chapeta of the committee in what is seen as a desperate move by the national association to have a quorum in the event that two of its members are booted out by Fifa.

Once the two named members, who are facing serious breaches of the Fifa Ethics Code ranging from dishonesty and sexual abuse as well as match fixing allegations, the Felton Kamambo led executive committee will effectively be left with just four members since vice president Gift Banda is still suspended.

Article 35(1) of the Zifa statutes states that the executive committee, which is made up of eight members, shall not engage in valid debate unless more than 50 percent of its members are present and article 32(10) says if more than 50 percent of the positions should become vacant, then an election must be conducted for all the positions.

In a statement yesterday, Zifa communications and competitions manager Xolisani Gwesela said Chapeta will be a direct replacement of former executive committee member Chamunorwa Chiwanza.

While Chiwanza was expelled, the move ought to have been ratified by the Zifa Congress. It wasn’t.

“The Zifa executive committee has co-opted Stanley Chapeta into the executive in terms of Article 32 (9) of the Zifa statutes. Chapeta, who at the time of his elevation was the chair of the Zifa Central Region, comes in to fill the gap caused by the expulsion of Chamunorwa Chiwanza by the disciplinary committee in 2019.

The co-option is with effect from the 12th of October, 2020 when the executive committee unanimously agreed to bring him on board,” said Gwesela.

Article 32(9) empowers the executive committee to fill a post if a position other than that of the president, should become vacant either by death, resignation or unexplained absence from the executive committee for three consecutive meetings.

Chiwanza was expelled from the executive committee in August last year and Zifa, as per Article 32 (9) of their constitution which they used to co-opt Chapeta waited for 14 good months to reach the co-option decision.

“What Zifa have just done is a confirmation that they are aware of the impending suspensions and even expulsions from the game of some of their executive committee members which will leave them without a quorum and a need for fresh election even before the constitutionally set ones in two years time. There is no value in the addition of Chapeta because his co-option is only just up to the next congress but because by then Fifa would have cracked its whip, they (Zifa) don’t want to take any chances,” said an observer.