Highlanders chief executive officer, Ndumiso Gumede, who was banned from taking part in all football-related activities over an alleged “coup” attempt, does not regret his decision to write the letter to Fifa, which got him into trouble.BY Kevin Mapasure
Allegations against Gumede are that he wrote a letter to Fifa peddling falsehoods against the Zifa executive committee led by Philip Chiyangwa, seeking to have the body dissolved.
Gumede confirmed writing the letter and does not regret doing so and is proud of his achievements.
While he said he had not yet received his letter of dismissal from Zifa, Gumede hinted he would not fight to stay on.
Over and above the letter, Gumede is alleged to have travelled to Botswana, at his own cost, to meet Fifa regional representative, Archford Mamelodi.
It is at that meeting, where the former Zifa chief executive officer, is said to have “peddled falsehoods” against members of the Zifa executive committee.
Gumede authored the letter in July, where he sought Fifa intervention over the dissolution of Zifa, which would have given birth to a new football mother body – the National Football Association of Zimbabwe (Nafaz).
In an interview with sports journalist, Thandazani Zimbwa, which was posted on YouTube yesterday, Gumede said he represented some Zifa debtors, who would have lost what they were owed if the mother body had successfully been dissolved.
“I don’t regret it, I have done my part and after I wrote that letter to Fifa, Fifa sent Mamelodi to investigate and he gave the entire aggrieved persons a chance to air their views,” he said.
“It (the ban) emanates from a letter I wrote to Fifa on July 25 telling them that things were not going right in Zimbabwe, where I pointed to things like Nafaz. I know that it is now water under the bridge, as far as Nafaz is concerned, but that was a tumultuous era in our football and I don’t think I was wrong in informing Fifa of those anomalies. The president (Chiyangwa) went to Parliament and said all those people that were owed money by their association would not be paid. But, as it is, things have changed, he is now in negotiations with some of the debtors, so I am proud that I initiated the visit by Fifa to come and find out the state of affairs in the country.”
Gumede hinted that he was ready to walk away from the game he has served for so long.
“It’s been a long time that I have been in football and I am proud of what I have achieved. This is a tiny blemish in a long and illustrious career in football.”
While it has not been put in writing, it is alleged that Gumede became a victim because he was suspected to have been working with former Zifa employees and board members to unseat the current board.
On the other hand, Premier Soccer League (PSL) chairman, Peter Dube is alleged to have caused the chaos that characterised the debate on the relegation and promotion playoffs between PSL and the four Division One clubs.
He is said to have instructed PSL chief executive officer, Kenny Ndebele to write to the four regions informing them that the top-flight league would not sponsor the promotional playoffs between the four Division One champions, where two teams would get promoted, while the same number would be dropped to the second-tier leagues.
He is also alleged to have been advocating the dissolution of the current Zifa executive committee.
Meanwhile, Zifa announced the suspension of Bulawayo City officials, Philani Ncube and Jerry Sibanda over their alleged role in attempting to fix the league match between their team and Border Strikers on August 3.
The duo had been spared by the PSL, but will have to answers charges of attempting to fix a match. Sibanda is the chairperson of Bulawayo City, while Ncube is the head coach.
A statement from Zifa last night read in part: “The Zifa executive committee convened on November 13 and resolved to immediately bar Sibanda and Ncube from holding positions in association football or associating with Zifa and any of its members. In terms of article 34(n) of the Zifa constitution, the ‘executive committee may dismiss a person or body or suspend a member of Zifa provisionally until the next congress’.”
The Zifa executive committee agreed that Sibanda and Ncube had shown “absolute disdain” and disregard of the Zifa constitution by their unsportsman-like conduct, which intransigently violated article 2(e) and article 7 of the Zifa constitution.
Disciplinary proceedings for the suspended officials will be instituted in due course