The Chronicle

Sikhumbuzo Moyo, Senior Sports Reporter

LOSING candidate in the Zifa executive committee elections of December 2018 Stanley Chapeta has taken his matter to the Fifa Ethics Committee after expressing dissatisfaction with how the Zifa Appeals Committee handled his case.

Chapeta, who is also the Zifa Central Region chairperson, alleges that the Zifa Appeals Committee was conflicted and biased towards Chamu Chiwanza, whom he is challenging.

Chapeta says he has irrefutable evidence that Chiwanza did not possess the requisite five years football experience as claimed on his nomination form.

Despite raising this anomaly and paying the $3 000 appeal fees, his case was thrown out by an Appeals Committee of two officials instead of three. 

He has now written to Zifa chief executive officer Joseph Mamutse informing him that he was now taking the matter up with Fifa through its Ethics Committee. 

“Chamunorwa Chiwanza had fraudulently submitted his nomination with incorrect information that he was the secretary-general for Conduit Football Club and Phillip Chiyangwa had actually assisted him to fill in his form. Chiyangwa had to get the name of the team from the secretariat. Chiwanza submitted that he was secretary-general of Conduit Football Club and is still secretary-general. He submitted that he was there for eight years and twelve (12) years respectively on the same form. Philemon Machana is the owner of Conduit Football Club and all this arrangement was done behind his back as I later on found out on asking him,” wrote Chapeta.

“It is true that if proper vetting was done, an anomaly of this nature could not have gone past the Electoral Committee and all of us could have picked it up in time to raise the anomaly,” he wrote.

Chapeta said the ‘oversight’ was not surprising “as Chiyangwa wanted his lifetime friend to be part of the new board and capture Zifa”. 

“Article 35.3 of the Zifa constitution on decision making says any member of the executive committee must withdraw from the debate and from taking a decision if there is any risk or possibility of a conflict of interest. Why did Chiyangwa take the decision of assisting his friend to submit the nomination form? Why was the normal vetting procedure not followed? There was no transparency.

“Article 4.2 of the Zifa constitution was also violated as it strongly emphasises that statutes must be observed by all persons in the game. Chiyangwa did not observe that the constitution requires five years’ experience for one to contest. After the information that Chiwanza had less than five years football experience as required by Article 32.4 of the Zifa constitution and as required on the nomination form item 7.1, I started to carry out my own investigations to authenticate the report. 

“I got the nomination form from the secretariat and the information on the CV section of the form left a lot to be desired. It did not appear like it was filled by someone who knew what was required on the form. I phoned Machana to confirm his team’s association with Chiwanza. Machana denied having had any association with Chiwanza. 

“I also asked some long time football administrators who also denied knowledge of Chiwanza’s football administration experience. They said Chiwanza was never involved in football but declined to have their names taken for fear of victimisation except for one Sweeney Mushonga,” wrote Chapeta. 

He said after gathering evidence he then formally and officially filed his case, but was shocked when it was thrown out despite overwhelming evidence of violation of the constitution. 

“They said the case was not under their jurisdiction (but) went on to deal with the case and passed the judgment. Article 56.2 of the Zifa constitution requires the presence of at least three people from the Appeals Committee to preside over the case, but there were two only. The presence of Chiyangwa and Itai Ndudzo, who were out of Zifa circles, was again a cause for concern since they did not have any business in this case. Was it again an act of corruption that was being organised? I then waited for the installation of the Ethics Committee as I felt there was something unethical about the handling of my issue,” said Chapeta. 

He said he then filed his case with the Ethics Committee on April 4, but up to now, his case is yet to take off because Chiwanza has allegedly not been availing himself, despite numerous requests for him to do so. 

“It is on this background that I am left with no option, but to refer my case to the Fifa Ethics Committee to seek guidance. As much as I appreciate the effort of the board to get the issue resolved, the prevailing conditions are not conducive for a fair hearing. Interference is at its highest level from what I believe is a third force,” Chapeta wrote.