Former ZIFA vice-president Omega Sibanda has reportedly made a revelation to Minister of Sports Kirsty Coventry that could weaken the Sports and Recreation Commission’s case against the suspended ZIFA board members.
In letter, as quoted by the NewsDay, Sibanda claimed that the fundraising committee could have reserved at least US$1,2 million of the US$1,5m meant for bonuses and allowances for Warriors players during the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) finals held in Egypt.
The money was was fundraised by President Emmerson Mnangagwa at a gala dinner before the team’s departure.
Sibanda also told Coventry that the allegations that were raised against Kamambo’s board were far-fetched and could tarnish the image of her ministry.
The Zifa executive members are being accused of misusing public funds amd turning a blind eye on sexual harassment of female referees but no arrests or convictions have been made despite the seriousness of the accusations.
“The only public funds that remain not acquitted are those fundraised with the help of HE (His Excellency) President Mnangagwa in 2019 for the Egypt Afcon,” Sibanda revealed in a letter dated April 19, four days before Saturday’s emergency general meeting (EGM) which booted out Kamambo.
“Over US$1 500 000 was raised from that and only US$216 000 according to the Zifa Afcon acquittal (see annexure M, N, O of the Zifa untold story document for proof of this acquittal even that was given to the SRC at the time by Zifa) was paid by the committee directly to players and not through Zifa accounts.
“This is where, in my view, where you should ask the SRC or the (fundraising) committee where the rest of the money, more than US$1,3 million went. It is of public importance that such information be shared because that remains the only outstanding unacquitted public funds channelled to football (by the government) but such was not under Zifa, but a committee established and composed of several ministers.”
Sibanda added: “If the public gets wind of such, it will be damaging to the ministry and not to Zifa.
“The same Zifa Board acting out of maturity that is now being publicly attacked, chose to keep quiet realising those that make up the committee and how such might have been abused by certain elements for political expediency.”
Sibanda warned Coventry that she could have been misled by SRC on the reasons and the procedure when suspending the Zifa board.
“Hon minister, I reiterate herewith what I said in our meeting this issue was not handled properly from the start. I reiterate that all available information shows you were misinformed on the real reasons for the board suspension; you were misinformed on correctness of the SRC suspension procedure which clearly is even wrong with our own laws; you were misled on the so-called restoration road map which included formation of a football Restructuring committee and conducting of an illegal EGM by some Zifa delegates.”