Thursday, March 18, 2010


ZIFA CEO Henrietta Rushwaya was re-instated barely 48 hours after her suspension after lawyers warned the football authority that it had erred in procedure.

Rushwaya had been suspended by the ZIFA board pending investigations into Monomotapa Football Club’s trip to Malaysia last year during which they posed as the Zimbabwe national team.

ZIFA chairman Wellington Nyatanga, set to step down on March 27, said lawyers had advised that the move to suspend Rushwaya was unconstitutional. This followed revelations that text messages were used in convening the board meeting in Masvingo last Saturday, contrary to the ZIFA constitution.

Nyatanga told a news conference on Monday: "After consultations with our lawyer, we have since been advised that the decisions passed in Masvingo last Saturday were null and void.

"We asked for legal advice and were told that it was improper and unconstitutional to take such a route ... that it was improper and unconstitutional and we have decided to nullify all resolutions related to that meeting.”

Monomotapa’s trip last August was not sanctioned by the Sports and Recreation Commission as required of all teams going to play outside the country, Nyatanga added. There are other allegations of misconduct against Rushwaya over several tours to Asia by make-shift national team squads which are also said to have been done without the Commission's authority.

Nyatanga, a veteran football administrator, insists he expects a new ZIFA board to still pursue the investigation into possible misconduct by Rushwaya, who became ZIFA CEO in 2007.

"That process will be completed and, even if new faces come on board, they have the responsibility of completing that task,” Nyatanga said


THE Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA) suspended chief executive Henrietta Rushwaya on Saturday pending investigations into Monomotapa’s controversial trip to Asia last year during which they posed as the national team.

Rushwaya, who was appointed chief executive of the soccer governing body in March 2007, was suspended at the association's board meeting held in Masvingo.

The meeting was attended by members of the outgoing Zifa board and also those contesting elections scheduled for 27 March.

Rushwaya confirmed the development to New but added that she had not yet seen the letter of suspension.

The Zifa boss said she would only comment when she gets the letter of suspension.

"I have been suspended but there is no formal communication. I am yet to receive the letter informing me of the suspension. I have nothing to comment. I will issue a statement when I get the letter," said Rushwaya.

ZIFA president Wellington Nyatanga who chaired the meeting that made the resolution to suspend Rushwaya confirmed the chief executive's suspension but declined to disclose the reasons for the move.

But, sources close to Zifa said at the weekend Rushwaya was suspended over the controversial decision to send former Premier League champions Monomotapa to Malaysia and pass them off as the Zimbabwe national soccer team last December.

It is alleged Rushwaya sanctioned that trip without the consent of the Sport and Recreation Commission - the country’s supreme sports decision making body which sanctions all international trips.

The Football Association of Malaysia accused ZIFA of deception after New exposed the scandal.

FAM general secretary Datuk Azzudin Ahmad, waving a letter from ZIFA, told journalists: “Look at this letter and tell me what you understand from it. It states clearly they are sending their national side.

“From one national FA to another, there has to be mutual respect. When we are told that this is their national team, we take their word for it. We do not question it because that would be questioning their integrity.”

When confronted on the matter at the time, Rushwaya denied signing the letter sent to FAM passing off Monomotapa -- who wore the national team strip -- as the Warriors.