Gloomy festive season for Zifa Southern Region staffers

The Chronicle

Innocent Kurira, Sports Reporter

TENSION was bound to be high; it rose even more after Zifa Southern Region club’s representatives were told they could not use the Zifa office lavatory in the duration of their Monday meeting as the city council disconnected water supply at the regional offices owing to non-payment of bills.

It got even worse upon revelation that the office staffers will go for the festive holidays without pay. The workers were only told to report back for duty on January 8 without any explanation on the salaries.

Already, clubs had been infuriated by the cold shoulder received from the regional board led by Andrew Tapela who declared the meeting unconstitutional.

Despite the board’s absence the clubs still proceeded with the meeting.

The clubs decided against renewing the mandate of three executive committee members, chairman Andrew Tapela, his deputy Gaylord Madhunguza as well as secretary Mehluli Thebe which ended in October.

The meeting also saw clubs pledge from their own funds to make an effort to ensure staffers are paid and a plan is made to have water re-connected at the offices.

“The house needs to be fixed and as clubs we will take it upon ourselves to see to it that order at the offices is restored. Starting with sourcing funds to pay the workers. Honestly, how do you send the staffers to go on holidays unpaid. We paid referees fees the entire season when we shouldn’t have. The money is unaccounted for to date. When you call the guys to come and explain these issues you are the enemy,” said Blessing Mbwanda of Indlovu Iyanyathela.

The majority of the clubs, 12 out of the 17 attended Monday evening’s meeting at the Zifa Southern Region offices in Bulawayo and agreed to boot out Tapela, Madhunguza and Thebe.

Board member finance Tizirayi Luphahla survived the axe. Before passing a vote of no confidence on the trio, the clubs co-opted seasoned administrator Lloyd Munhanga of Zimbabwe Saints and Mosi Rovers’ representative Tafadzwa Mutowa into the board.

Munhanga and Mutowa were filling the gaps left by Bryton Malandule who was elevated to the Zifa national executive before he was ousted, as well as Fiso Siziba who assumed the vice-chairmanship role at Highlanders.

The clubs acknowledged Luphahla’s efforts to drive the region and felt that maybe assuming the finance portfolio previously held by Malandule and the competitions’ role could have overwhelmed him as he tried to balance his duties. The clubs were unanimous in retaining Luphahla.

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