Cash-strapped Zifa stranded as bank withholds funds over hotel debt

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By Mary Taruvinga

THE Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) entangled in debt wrangle with a local hotel.

Daisy Lodge has approached the High Court seeking intervention in their impasse which has been dragging since 2016.

The lodge used to house the Warriors ahead of international engagements before Prophetic Healing and Deliverance leader Walter Magaya came to their rescue.

The association was failing to settle its debt with the creditor who later sought court’s intervention resulting in Zifa being ordered to pay US$16 762 with interests.

The lodge obtained a writ of execution to enforce the judgement and in September 2018, according to court papers, the third respondent, Ecobank, placed Zifa’s bank account with Steward Bank under attachment.

According to Zifa president Felton Kamabo’s founding affidavit, the lodge took US$14 896 from the account towards payment of the debt.

The lodge was given instructions to place under attachment, applicant’s accounts held with Ecobank since the first attachment did not satisfy the debt in full.

On February 11 this year, Zifa then paid $180 085 to the Sherriff being final payment of the debt.

However, after the debt was allegedly cleared the lodge instituted litigation against Ecobank seeking an order declaring that it was entitled to payment in US dollars.

ZIFA also moved quickly to stop the siphoning of its money after the cheeky “creditor” approached the soccer governing body’s bankers and sought to have the association’s funds frozen.

The lodge had obtained an order to garnish Zifa accounts.

ZIFA is said to have settled the debt in local currency but the creditor is demanding to be paid in US dollars.

“Subsequent to the judgement by Justice Tagu in case HC 6491/16 applicant sought to engage first respondent with a view to establish what was the value of the money applicant paid to first respondent and what was the balance outstanding, if any,” reads the court application.

“Respondent is of the view that the applicant has not paid the judgement debt in full on the basis that it did not satisfy the terms of the judgement which required payment in US currency…”

Respondent does not give a basis for the application of this rate, 3,5 percent, as it is common cause that as at the time of payment of the money by Zifa there was no interbank rate applicable,” further reads the application.

He said Zifa is of the view that the debt was paid in full.

However, the lodge is giving the association a headache threatening to return the money Zifa paid.

Now Zifa is seeking a declaratory order to the effect that the payment of $194 981 it paid fully discharged its obligation.

“Applicant is greatly prejudiced as it cannot access its money that is held with Ecobank on the basis that it might be required to satisfy the debt in case number HC 6491/16.

“Parties have demonstrated that they cannot resolve the impasse on their own as such the intervention of the court is necessary. Applicant has no other remedy available to it other than to approach the court for a declaratory order,” said Kamambo.