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Zifa, SRC talk tough as row deepens

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THERE is no end in sight to the uncertainty in Zimbabwean football as the country’s suspended federation bosses have gone all out to fight the ban, filing an appeal that has since been dismissed as “dead in the water” by the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC), which wielded the axe a fortnight ago. 

ENOCK MUCHINJO

In the appeal launched this week, the axed Zifa board members have thrown down the gauntlet and pronounced their suspension by the SRC as “outrageous in its defiance of logic.” The SRC, in reaction to the suspended officials’ appeal before the Administrative Court, is adamant that Zifa has no “power to appeal” under statutes guiding the country’s umbrella sports body.

All seven suspended Zifa board members are cited in the appeal, with the association’s president Felton Kamambo (pictured) as the first appellant.

“The decision of the Respondent (SRC) is so outrageous in its defiance of logic more particularly in that it was reached at without according the other party and opportunity to be heard,” reads part of the appeal by law firm Moyo, Chikono & Gumiro.

“The procedural irregularity is so gross that it amounts to a serious miscarriage of justice rendering the decision of the Respondent a legal nullity. It is tantamount to a ground of appeal as opposed to review.” 

 Zifa’s lawyers detailed more arguments in opposing the SRC’s sanction, including unprocedural suspension and violation of the law according to section 32 of the SRC Act.  A high-ranking official within the SRC however said Zifa has legally no grounds to appeal but can apply for a “review” of the suspension. 

“Section 32 of the Act doesn’t give Zifa the power to appeal,” he said.

“They only have a right of review. Those are two different concepts at law. Ask any lawyer they will explain it without me coming across as biased. The appeal is dead in the water. It’s a nullify at law. They are better withdrawing it and filing an application for review. That’s why Zifa will need to get a High Court order to suspend the SRC’s decision pending the outcome of the administration court.

“They used the same section for (suspended Zifa CEO Joseph) Mamutse. And he remains suspended.”

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