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Zifa boss strikes back, coup plotters suspended

Not going anywhere ... Zifa boss Cuthbert Dube and CEO Jonathan Mashingaidze

15/06/2015 00:00:00
by Sports Reporter
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WHEN a coup bid fails, reprisals necessarily follow and Zifa vice president Omega Sibanda would have done himself a favour remembering that rule as he travelled to Harare on a one-way ticket provided by the national association.

Sibanda was one of the eight officials suspended by Zifa Monday evening for trying and failing to oust the association’s president Cuthbert Dube last month.

The Bulawayo-based Sibanda was left fuming after he found himself stranded in the capital.

“I am stranded in Harare right now without transport and accommodation and you can imagine that these guys sent me a ticket to fly me to Harare so that they suspend me, whatever that means and then dump me here in the capital,” he moaned to the Herald.

Dube and Zifa chief executive Jonathan Mashingaidze are blamed for the chaos in local football epitomised by the expulsion of the country from the 2018 World Cup.

Again, the national side travelled by bus to Malawi on Friday for a game scheduled for Saturday after a row with Zifa over outstanding allowances.

But efforts, backed by the government, to oust Dube and Mashingaidze have to date failed.

Zifa councillors held a meeting on May 16 where it was announced that Dube had been relieved of his duties.

They were soon called to order by Fifa which ruled that the meeting was illegal and that Dube remained in office.

On Monday, Dube and his supporters hit back, suspending eight councillors among them Sibanda as well as the leaders of four soccer regions — Northern, Central, Southern and Eastern.

Sibanda however, remained defiant.

“That (suspension is) a nullity," is he said.

“We will continue to serve football and those who have become specialists in banning and suspending others can continue to do so.

“If you follow the way we have been suspending people, we would have won the World Cup if there was one for suspensions and there should be people who are brave enough to say that enough is enough and we won’t take that.”

A statement later issued by the suspended councillors described charges levelled against as “trumped-up”.

“We still remain convinced that Mr (Cuthbert) Elkana Dube has FAILED to give us the leadership we deserve,” said the councillors.

“The suspension of the members is also aimed at reducing our numbers and instilling fear into the remaining Councillors to force us to abandon our EGM.


“No amount of force or intimidation can overcome our desire to free our football for the soccer loving Zimbabweans. We shall remain resolute and united until we achieve the VICTORY.

“We believe that we represent the masses of Zimbabwe in our cause and the nation cannot be held at ransom by two people.

“The players are not happy and so are the clubs and the soccer fans. The end is nigh to Mr Dube’s dictatorship and directionless leadership.

"Our fight is for the people. Our fight is for the players. Our fight is for football. And football will definitely win.

“Our call to you is not to lose hope. We are almost there and victory is certain. See you at the Meeting on 20 June 2015.”

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