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Zifa board Divides Over Misuse of Funds

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Zifa board member Tavengwa Hara has distanced himself from the $1 200 reportedly signed for Zifa board member (finance) Fungai Chihuri as travel and subsistence costs, as the alleged financial scandal over gate-takings for the 2017 Nations Cup qualifier between Zimbabwe and Guinea at Rufaro deepens.

BY TAWANDA TAFIRENYIKA/ BRIAN NKIWANE

This comes as Sport, Arts and Culture minister Andrew Langa met with the Zifa leadership in Harare yesterday over the issue.

Hara yesterday challenged the finance committee to account for the $1 200 reported to have been given to board members as travel and subsistence costs.

The lawyer said he was aware of only $2 800 shared by board members.

“Personally, I am not aware of the $1 200 said to have been given to board members. What I know is that board members shared $2 800. I got $400 for my travel back to my home in Bulawayo and to meet other costs, as I had left my car at the airport. This money was actually brought to my hotel room by John Phiri at 10pm,” Hara said.

Chihuri said he was not in a position to speak to the media when contacted for comment yesterday.

Reports suggest that four Zifa board members paid themselves $2 800, signed off as board expenses from the gate receipts.

A further $1 200 was also reportedly signed for by Chihuri as travel and subsistence allowance.

The Zifa leadership has also been criticised by President Robert Mugabe over the manner they handled funds generated from the match.

Zifa declared a $12 481 loss despite realising over $88 000 from gate receipts, claiming most of the money from the gate takings went to service various debts, including payments of appearance fees and allowances to the Warriors.

But curiously, according to the Zifa income and expenditure statement, some of the service providers, whom they claim to have paid, have denied being paid, with Herentals Group of Colleges making it clear that they donated two buses, fuel and drivers for use by the national team.

While Zifa also claim to have paid $12 500 towards air tickets to fly in foreign-based Warriors and match officials to Harare for the match, it has emerged that the cost of bringing the foreign-based Warriors and match officials was not $12 500, but $11 095, which was paid directly to a travel agent.

Meanwhile, Langa has stuck his boot into the Cuthbert Dube-led Zifa board’s back over allegations of mismanagement of the association’s funds.

Langa, who yesterday summoned Zifa president Dube and some of his trusted lieutenants and the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) to attend an emergency meeting, said he had ordered SRC to take a closer look at the figures the Zifa finance committee released and was expecting an audited report by Monday.

“It’s true that I summoned both SRC and Zifa to an emergency meeting today (yesterday). The meeting was attended by four SRC board members, Zifa president Cuthbert Dube, his chief executive officer Jonathan Mashingaidze and other ministry officials. The reason being that as the Minister of Sport, I am not happy at all with what has been happening at Zifa. Therefore, I have ordered the SRC to sit down with Zifa and look at the Warriors versus Guinea tie and come up with an audited report, which I expect to be out by Monday. And from there, we will see what action we will take as government,” he said last night.

He questioned the credibility of the Zifa’s income and expenditure statement which he said needed to be looked into carefully.

“The reason that most people have raised questions about it means something is wrong, very wrong. This is the reason why we said SRC should look into it carefully.”

Langa also took Zifa board members to task for their failure to receive Tourism minister Walter Mzembi in time during the match in question.

It is understood that Mzembi had to endure sometime waiting to be welcome by Zifa board members at the entrance.

“I had to take them to task because such things should not be happening at all. The manner in which Honourable Mzembi was treated was not proper. Going forward, we agreed that there should be constant communication between ministries and associations involved to avoid such issues.”

Source : NewsDayZimbabwe

Tongai Mwenje

Tongai Mwenje is a Senior Editor with Zimbabwe's largest online sports magazine Sportbrief www.sportbrief.co.zw. He has been writing professionally since 2012 and currently writes for technology and sport blogs. He has vast experience in digital marketing, sports reporting and analysis. He is also a Sports and Technology columnist with Financial Gazette Online Sports Column and Technology Magazine respectively.

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