By Byron Mutingwende
After revealing the systematic picking apart of Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA) assets, which are held in trust by ZIFA(Pvt) Ltd, some of the Councillors who sat in the farcical Feb 17 AGM are aghast in shock. Yet, others are saying they didn’t know that such transactions were contained in the audited financial reports for 2016, whose report they adopted.
Now, if those entrusted with our football are the ones destroying it, should the government just fold hands and watch? Is corruption in football not corruption to attract investigation? If mainstream media fail to report malpractices is it any less a corruption? Well, will leave that to other levers of governance.
But the issue of Kensington Estate can not be ignored because it is a matter in our judIcial system. Investigations can reveal that this stand, whose original deed was registered in November 1988 into ZIFA (Pvt) Ltd from one Ronald Maitland Steyn. The full purchase price at the time was $115 000. So, the house has since been ZIFA property although it became a subject of judicial attachment since 2015, to the extent that no alienation or disposal by ZIFA or any other third part could be legally done without knowledge and consent of participating judgement creditors.
It then beggars a question. How was it possible for such a transaction in the first place? Who was corrupted along the way to facilitate the transfer of property from ZIFA (Pvt) Ltd to Olive Touch? How did they circumvent the judicial obligations in this case of a property under judicial attachment?
More so, when Maxwell Ndudzo was also purchasing through a public auction in which he was declared a purchaser by the Sheriff after full payment of $61 000 into a CBZ Acc number 02123886430017, where was ZIFA and its lawyer Itayi Ndudzo? In all this who gave ZIFA the authority to transact? Was it the ZIFA Congress, who in cases of that nature resolve to take such decisions? If, it was indeed ZIFA Congress, where are the minutes and resolution of that meeting? Records show that no AGM or EGM was ever held by ZIFA since Chiyangwa took over on December 5, 2015.
In such circumstances, is it possible to bring the whole ZIFA Council to book and account for their decisions?. Crucially, the Olive Touch transaction is hugely dubious in that Ben Gwarada was owed $209 460, yet he agreed to taking the Kensington property valued at $160 000. How was he going to recover the difference of $49 460? Interestingly, there is no evidence of money ever changing hands in this deal. So, how was it executed and did all government statutory boards got their remittances? It is a subject for another day.
While, we are gripped with this expose, Maxwell Ndudzo, who despite not having the deeds to the property, is already in occupation of the house, and has approached the High Court for the cancellation of Olive Touch deed of transfer number 1463/2017 in favour of deed of transfer number 8871/1988, which was the original deed at the transfer of property into ZIFA (Pvt) Ltd on Nov 21, 1988. This matter is yet to be heard.
But ZIFA councillors who met in Harare on Feb 17 okayed this as they adopted the financials for 2016.
Please note, ZIFA is yet to present accounts for 2017 but already the 2018 season is starting next week, without budget approvals. How is that for corporate governance? And we claim, we have councillors looking after our game. Maybe a stakeholders petition to government could stop this madness. We are not such a stupid nationhood that watches decay after decay and do nothing. I do not think so.
If one reads the audited financials for 2016, s/he will notice that Kensington Estate and ZIFA House on 53 Livingstone Avenue have been removed from the assets register and will no longer appear in the books of ZIFA. Is this not indicative of the status of the said properties? Who is benefiting from the transactions and why? And the Councillors can not claim they do not know this, after they adopted the reports on Feb 17 at Crowne Plaza.