The general consensus among football stakeholders is that there is a new dawn for Zimbabwe.
The suspension imposed on the country by FIFA —for what the world governing body termed third party interference, after the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) suspended the Felton Kamambo-led ZIFA administration in November 2021—was finally lifted two weeks ago, to the delight of football-loving Zimbabweans.
FIFA appointed a four-member normalisation committee responsible for running the affairs of ZIFA until July 2024.
The committee will for the next 12 months be tasked with restructuring the ZIFA administration, reviewing the country’s football governing body’s statutes and electoral code to ensure compliance with FIFA statutes, to act as an electoral committee in order to organise and conduct new board elections, as well as ensuring proper financial handover.
Former Dynamos chairman Lincoln Mutasa will chair the committee, which also includes former Mighty Warriors coach Rosemary Mugadza, legal practioner Nyasha Tashinga Sanyamandwe and former Highlanders defender Sikhumbuzo Ndebele.
The quartet, according to FIFA, must pass an ‘eligibility test’ to be carried out by the world governing body’s Review Committee, in accordance with the FIFA Governance Regulations.
For a committee mandated with restoring transparency in Zimbabwean football, that FIFA ‘eligibility test’ on the quartet is of paramount importance, particularly on Ndebele —whose integrity as far as the handling finances is concerned —has now come under the microscope.
The former AmaZulu defender, according to a Simbisa Brands Financial Audit report seen by Soccer24, was given a tender to supply Chicken Inn with computers, for the giant fast food establishment’s Mvuma branch when it was opened in 2012.
Ndebele, according to the report, did not supply the computers as agreed despite being paid upfront.
When a police report was made, Ndebele allegedly pleaded with Chicken Inn to pay back the money in installments.
He did so partly, but the larger chunk has not been paid to this very day.
The unresolved issue would cost Ndebele the Chicken Football Club Adminstrator post nine years later —in February 2021, as the Gamecocks settled for retired midfielder Clement Matawu instead.
Prior to that, in 2020, the Gamecocks, according to well-placed sources at ZIFA, wrote to the national association alerting them of Ndebele’s ‘dishonesty’, when he applied for the National Teams General Manager post.
Ndebele was coy when sought for a comment on the unresolved Chicken Inn tender issue.
“You are the best person to answer yourself that question. You have what it takes to do so,” he said.
“I’m not the best person to answer that,” added Ndebele.