Sikhumbuzo Moyo, Acting Sports Editor
THE appeal hearing for the suspended Zifa vice-president Gift Banda is set to resume after both parties agreed on a yet to be made public set down date in what is now the longest disciplinary dispute in the history of Zimbabwean football.
The Bulawayo businessman was suspended in January last year, a month after his election to the second highest football post in Zimbabwe. He was accused of making unanimous decisions after he announced the appointment of Bongani Mafu and Tonderayi Ndiraya as Warriors’ assistant coaches who were supposed to take over from Rahman Gumbo and Lloyd Mutasa. The executive committee later disowned those appointments and the matter was taken to the Zifa disciplinary committee, 14 months after Banda was suspended.
The constitution states that one must appear before judiciary bodies within 14 days from the date of suspension and that constitutional position was reiterated recently through a press statement following the shock reinstatement of Zifa Bulawayo provincial chairperson Francis Ntutha in which Zifa said Ntutha ought to have been brought before the disciplinary committee within 14 days.
Banda was absolved by the disciplinary committee but Zifa appealed against their own judiciary body and the matter was then handled by the Appeals Committee which again cleared Banda on a technicality after Zifa failed to provide proof of payment of the appeal fee.
The association later applied for a condonation which was granted.
“We have set a date and communicated with the Zifa secretariat,” said the Appeals Committee chairperson and respected Harare lawyer Stead Kachere before referring further questions to the Zifa legal advisor Chenayimoyo Gumiro who also confirmed that dates for the hearing have been set.
“Unfortunately I am out of town now so I can’t remember the exact dates but they have indeed been set,” said Gumiro.