Mapeza Caught In Between Between ZIFA-SRC Fights
12 December 2021
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THE suspended Felton Kamambo-led Zifa board has threatened Norman Mapeza with unspecified action if he accepts his appointment as Warriors coach by the Zifa secretariat. His appointment was announced on Thursday by Zifa acting CEO Xolisani Gwesela with the blessing of the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC).

This came hardly a day after the board had indicated that it would be taking a back seat to avoid any confrontation with the SRC, but yesterday it acted otherwise.

In a statement, the suspended Zifa board also questioned Gwesela’s appointment as acting chief executive officer, arguing the appointment was not binding.

The Zifa board says the SRC cannot continue to make decisions on their behalf.

The SRC suspended the entire Zifa board on November 16 for alleged financial impropriety.

The statement read: “The Zifa board advises stakeholders that anyone who goes into contractual relationship with Zifa in the absence or without express authority of the legitimate Zifa board was doing so at its own risk and that Zifa will not honour any obligations arising out of such agreements even if such are on Zifa letterhead or purportedly signed by any member of the Zifa secretariat, but without express Zifa board authority. Of particular note is the fact that the Zifa board has not appointed any national team coach nor has it appointed any acting general secretary.”

The suspended board, which still holds the SRC in disdain, added: “The board has learnt through various media articles that certain decisions that are a preserve of the Zifa board are being taken on behalf of Zifa. The Zifa board would want to inform stakeholders that any such decisions, contracts or agreements reached under the auspices of Zifa are null and void ab initio (from the beginning) and therefore of no legal effect.”

On the appointment of Mapeza on Thursday, Gwesela said: “We got guidance from the SRC that Mapeza will continue as the Warriors coach for the Afcon finals, we had sought guidance on the matter. He will be allowed to choose his own assistants.”

The suspended Zifa board earlier appeared to have thrown in the towel and given up the fight against the sports regulator.

The board insisted that Joseph Mamutse was still the national football governing body’s chief executive officer.

“As mentioned in our previous releases, Mamutse remains the bona fide and substantive CEO of Zifa, but like the Zifa Board, has also been physically precluded from carrying out his lawful duties by the SRC even after an appeal was lodged.

We urge all stakeholders to be very careful on the agreements they may think they are entering with Zifa and the risk such may carry in terms of Fifa statutes,” the statement read.

“We urge these (Mapeza and Gwesela) to demand that they sign whatever contracts with the real institution they are contracting, which in this case is the SRC, to safeguard and enforce their interests in cases of defaults.

The Zifa board also notes that the SRC board has illegally usurped the Zifa board powers by clandestinely assuming the role of an interim committee and such is totally against Fifa and Zifa statutes.

“Once again, we urge for calmness and sober reflection by those that continue making the terrible blunders before we get to a point of no return.

There is still time, though limited, of self-correction by those responsible for the mess we are currently in and being perpetuated,” the Zifa board stated. – NewsDay

Norman Mapeza