Phillip Chiyangwa Letter To FIFA On ZIFA Lifetime Ban
HON. DR PHILLIP CHIYANGWA
15 August 2019
THE GENERAL SECRETARY
Federation Internationale de Football Association FIFA-Strasse 20
P.O. Box 8044 Zurich
Dear Madam F. Samoura
RE: GROSS VIOLATIONS OF FIFA AND ZIFA STATUTES BY ZIFA
1I write to draw the attention of your esteemed office to extremely disturbing developments emanating from the Zimbabwe Football Association (“ZIFA”) which is a duly admitted member of FIFA.
2. I write in my personal capacity as the immediate past President of ZIFA (December 2015 – December 2018) and the current President of COSAFA.
3. I have found it compelling to directly address your office in light of the gross violations of both the FIFA Statutes and the ZIFA Constitution being wilfully perpetrated by the current ZIFA officials who have unconstitutionally constituted themselves as a management committee.
While on the surface the malicious actions of this illegal ZIFA management committee may appear as personal attacks against me, it is clear that the totality of the actions emanating from them are fast-tracking Zimbabwean football into the dark days of maladministration, financial embezzlements, constitutional violations and other undesirable elements.
4. To exemplify the blatant madness prevailing in the mind of the current ZIFA leadership , on the 14 of August 2019, I was served with a letter advising me that I was being handed a life ban from all Association Football activities in Zimbabwe. The letter stated that this was a unanimous resolution of a meeting held by the Zimbabwe Football Association on the 9 of August 2019.
I hereto attach to a copy of the letter as Annexure “A”. You will note that the letter does not at all mention the specific body of ZIFA that is alleged to have arrived at such a decision. The bodies of ZIFA are outlined in Article 19 of the ZIFA Constitution.
5. You will note that the letter does not at all state that the purported decision to ban me was arrived at in accordance with due process. There is no mention at all of the involvement of any judicial body in the alleged ban. At law, the letter is null and void as it communicates a clear nullity.
6. The General Secretary of ZIFA seem to believe that by the mere stroke of his pen he can pronounce a life ban on my person from Association football. With respect that manifests madness of the highest rank.
7. Article 2D of the FIFA Statute is clear that the objectives of FIFA are:
“to control every type of association football by taking appropriate steps to prevent infringements of the Statutes, regulations or decisions of FIFA or of the Laws of the Game”
8. Further, Article 2G of the FIFA Statute states the objective of FIFA is to:
“promote integrity, ethics and fair play with a view to preventing all methods or practices, such as corruption, doping or match manipulation, which might jeopardise the integrity of matches, competitions, players, officials and member associations or give rise to abuse of association football.
9. These provisions of FIFA are binding on ZIFA as an Association because Article 14(1)(a) obligates every member association to:
“comply fully with the Statutes, regulations, directives and decisions of FIFA bodies at any time as well as the decisions of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) passed on appeal on the basis of art. 57 par. 1 of the FIFA Statutes.”
10. The communication purporting to ban me from association football epitomizes the serious lack of understanding of the application, limitations, and interpretation by ZIFA of football Statutes. Article 36 of the ZIFA Constitution exclusively reserves the power to dismiss a person to the Congress of ZIFA.
11. It is common cause that there was no ZIFA Congress on the 9» of August
The ZIFA Congress can only make a decision on the dismissal of a person if the Executive Committee of ZIFA places the dismissal of the particular person on the agenda of Congress. It is common cause that there has never been an agenda from the Congress for my dismissal on the 9« of August 2019.
12. The Constitution is clear that even if there is such an agenda the motion for dismissal must be justified and must be sent to members of ZIFA along with the agenda. This did not happen at all.
13. Article 36(3) of the ZIFA Constitution provides that before a decision for the dismissal of a person is made, the person in question has the right to speak in his defence.No such forum was provided. Further, the dismissal can only succeed if there is a secret ballot for which two thirds (2/3) of the valid votes cast is required. No detail of the secret ballot is mentioned because there simply wasn’t any such vote.
14. None of the peremptory provision of the Constitution were complied with in the purported ban. As a matter of fact it appears the General Secretary of ZIFA and the hoodlums he serves at ZIFA appear to be totally ignorant of the provisions of Article 36 of the ZIFA Constitution.
15. I am fortified in my view that the malicious elements at ZIFA are unaware of any provisions of their Constitution because their letter does not make reference to any provision of the Constitution for their decision. The letter does not use any language or diction that is consistent with the provisions of the ZIFA Constitution.
16. You will note that as a matter of fact, there is absolutely no provision of the ZIFA Constitution which provides for the power of the ZIFA Congress to give a life ban to a natural person. Equally the ZIFA Executive Committee does not have any power to impose a life ban any person. The letter of the 14 of August 2019 does not state that the purported ban is a decision that has been made provisionally. That in itself means the decision cannot have been made by the ZIFA Executive Committee.
17. The ZIFA Executive Committee can only provisionally dismiss a person if the full procedure of placing the matter on the agenda, justifying the motion, circulation of the agenda, allowing the accused person to speak in his defence, reaching a decision by means of a secret ballot and achieving a two thirds (2/3) majority vote is fully complied with. What is clear is that the General Secretary together with other individuals whose names he has not disclosed has allocated to himself power that is not provided for in the football statutes.
18. Clearly in Zimbabwe we now have a dangerously delinquent cabal that is abusing association football offices to pursue outrightly illegal, petty, vindictive, malicious and pointless pursuits.This administratively bankrupt bunch is led by Felton Kamambo who was the key regional chairman of ZIFA for the period ZIFA failed to have audited financial statements presented at Congress. Kamambo who was Cuthbert Dube’s blue eyed boy has failure written all over anything he is associated with. He has assumed office without any vision or strategy.
19. As you know, when I assumed office as ZIFA President in December 2015, ZIFA had become the black sheep of African football due to constitutional violations, maladministration, insolvency, failure to produce audited financial statements and flagrant violation of all football norms and rules.
20. Zimbabwe had received a ban from FIFA which excluded it from participating in the 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers and was on the verge of being disqualified from the 2022 World Cup Qualifiers. When I assumed office ZIFA had no movable properties as all its assets had been attached by the Sheriff to satisfy judgement debts. ZIFA had innumerable dubious creditors and was failing to send national teams at different levels to fulfil continental competitions.
21. When I was elected ZIFA President, ZIFA was good as dead. I had to use my personal fortune, business experience and goodwill to return normalcy and sanity to ZIFA. Notwithstanding all these sterling efforts on my part to make a contribution to the wellbeing of association football in my country. I find myself being maligned and besmirched without any basis or justification whatsoever.
22. Against the odds | salvaged Zimbabwe’s right to participate in the 2022 world cup qualifiers by engineering payment for Coach Santfiet just three weeks into office. I led Zimbabwe’s qualification for both the 2017 and 2019 AFCON finals. I revived women’s football and led our senior ladies team to qualify for the Olympics and AFCON finals.
I resumed league football for women. Also I resumed the participation of national teams at under 17, under 20 and 23 in all regional campaigns. I hired winning technical teams and motivated players and the public into rediscovering football as their darling sports code. I purged ZIFA of its ghost workers and ghost creditors. In short I brought football back from the graveyard it had been banished to by Cuthbert Dube, Jonathan Mashingaidze and Felton Kamambo.
23. You will note that as a result of my outstanding leadership I was unanimously elected to be the President of COSAFA which is the biggest regional bloc in Africa. I have also served with distinction in different sub- committees of CAF. I am presently the CAF vice president AFCON games.
24. My record of overachievement in the few years I have been ZIFA President is unprecedented and is self speaking. I used my dexterity to build a decaying institution into a enigmatic organization. I have no desire to see my sweat and success going to waste. I have no time to pursue pettiness and parochial interests. I am stunned by the jealousy and hatred being exhibited by those who have succeeded me.
25. In the history of Zimbabwean football no individual has achieved anything comparable to my administrative successes. Beyond ZIFA | have moulded COSAFA into a modern model subregional body. I have been a transformative agent of change in CAF. I led a well organized campaign to replace the Issa Hayatou hegemony. I receive endless accolades and invitations the world over to guide on football matters. I have no time for the idiosyncrasies and pettiness of little football dwarfs ruining the football show at ZIFA.
26. When I ceased to be the ZIFA President in December 2018 I completely divorced myself from all local football people, functions, events and matches as I wanted to give the new Executive Committee full space to control the local association without any inhibition or interference in any manner whatsoever from myself. I took a well deserved break from loca football matters in the same way that I have previously peacefully walked away from being Zimbabwe’s most accomplished music promoter, boxing promoter and wrestling promoter.
I never retrace where I have left footprints of success. That is my inborn nature. I have founded business organisations and elected to many which I walked away from, people must learn to walk away and to allow for fresh ideas, I have since realised I walked away from ZIFA, handing the button to a totally lost cause. Zimbabwe is bleeding heavily with the lot at the helm.
27. Sadly, the new Executive Committee weighed down by their own gross incompetence and deficiencies have failed to divorce themselves from my personality.They have a toxic obsession with my name. They mistakenly believe that the constant mention of my name will of its own accord magically pass on my successes to them. I pity these confused souls.
28. In gross violation of their own statutes, the ZIFA Executive Committee unlawfully suspended the vice President Mr Gift Banda because he dared to request a forensic audit on ZIFA transactions. Philemon Machana the self proclaimed president of a mickey mouse one man band political party. He did not take kindly to the audit request and led the illegal banishment of Gift Banda. Machana now masquerades as ZIFA’s acting vice president in breach of the ZIFA Constitution.
29. Without conducting any disciplinary hearing, they have also now expelled an elected Executive Committee member, Mr Chamunorwa Chiwanza. In flagrant disregard to the provisions of the COSAFA Statute, the ZIFA Executive Committee purported to mount a motion to recall me from being the President of COSAFA.
30. The current ZIFA President has mounted a spirited campaign to badmouth and smear my name in every regional and international forum that he gets an opportunity to attend. In the limited scope of his mind he somehow believes that he can only build his name as a leader of Zimbabwean football on the ashes of my reputation. Such kind of thinking is retrogressively primitive, backward, destructive and uncivilised.
31. The whole charade of maligning my name and character is calculated to divert attention from public anger and regulatory scrutiny over the manner in which ZIFA has failed to run its affairs since my departure and properly manage its 2019 AFCON campaign in Egypt.
32. It is public knowledge that ZIFA failed to pay the national team players as per agreed contracts. It is an incontrovertible fact that ZIFA instead of giving priority to players’ welfare and notwithstanding its insolvent state, a whole private plane was chartered to Egypt.
33. The ZIFA players and team officials used scheduled flights while the ZIFA President his wife, daughter, brother, pastor and corrupt cronies enjoyed the luxury of an all expenses paid charter flight to Egypt. Not surprisingly such grossly outrageous conduct greatly displeased the Zimbabwe national team players and the public in general.
34. As a result, ZIFA endured endless battles with players and had its whole tournament epitomizing a trip of shame. The root cause of ZIFA’s problems in this regard is clearly misplaced priorities and corrupt conduct. ZIFA has attempted to lay all the blame for all their chaotic conduct on my doorstep. I submit that this failure by ZIFA to take responsibility speaks volumes about the absolute lack of skill or capacity in the ranks of the current ZIFA Executive Committee.
35. I have played my part. I have made my contribution and I have earned my stripes. My ambition and interest now lie in different spaces and I consider it an insult of the worst order to be accused of interfering with ZIFA an institution I walked away from in December 2018.
36. I must also categorically state that the allegation that have been peddled against me in respect of the disciplinary verdict made by COSAFA against ZIFA are outrightly preposterous. Long after I had left office, ZIFA pursued the bid to host the 2019 COSAFA Senior Men’s Tournament.
They made their own representations and communications without my involvement. Having fallen foul of the set conditions by COSAFA disciplinary measures were meted against ZIFA by the independent disciplinary Committee of COSAFA. I hereto attach the full verdict by COSAFA which absolves me of any wrongdoing as Annexure B.
37. Most shockingly ZIFA instead of dealing with the consequences of its conduct has taken a position to viciously malign my name and reputation by making endless and senseless accusations against me.
38. I therefore implore your good offices to extend a helping hand to your prodigal and discordant association so that they focus on their mandate and not to chase my shadow even in places where it cannot be found.
39. I further believe that the manner in which I have been persecuted and the extent of lies fabricated against me calls for an investigation on the current ZIFA Executive Committee by the FIFA Ethics Committee. I do hereby formally request an inquiry to be commenced.
40. As I have already stated the ZIFA statute easily confirms that the purported life ban communicated by the ZIFA General Secretary does not comply with elementary, procedural and substantive provisions of the ZIFA Constitution.
41. 1 accordingly have not given any regard or attention to the null and void communication. All things being normal I ordinarily would not need to burden your busy office to confirm of the void status of the purported ban. However to the extent that we are not dealing with normal people | require that you censure ZIFA for the outrageous disregard of football statutes.My status and personal achievements in football cannot be arbitrarily tarnished without regard to the peremptory provisions of football statutes by an ignorant and confused cabal.
42. Abuse of power and diversionary tactics must have limitations. The purported ban is a bad joke in extremely bad taste. I have no time for the embarrassing nonsensical antics by Joseph Mamutse and his desperate handlers. Their kindergarten nonsense must _ stop forthwith. These hopelessly misguided pranksters urgently require rehabilitation and reorientation from FiFA and | trust that you will expeditiously assert your authority before football completely fizzles out of Zimbabwe.
43. I must hasten to say I like a quote by President Donald Trump “America has many mentally ill people, we need more institutions”, so do we in Zimbabwe.
FIFA Ethics Committee: Investigative Chamber ees
Cc: CO A Secretary General
Cc: Hon. Minister of Youth, Sports, Arts and Recreation