Court rejects bid to stop ZIFA polls

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SATURDAY’S Zifa board elections will go ahead after the High Court in Harare dismissed an application by an aspirant Saidi Sangula to stop the polls on Tuesday.
Sangula filed an urgent chamber application last Wednesday seeking to stop the elections, arguing that the Electoral Committee was not properly constituted.
Sangula, a legal practitioner, was being represented by Advocate Eric Matinenga, who had asked for more time last Friday to study Zifa’s response to the application.
The case was then heard on Monday before it was finally dismissed on Tuesday.
It was noted that Sangula’s timing of the application was wrong and he should have appealed when the Electoral Committee was put in place in November 2013 and dates for the elections announced.
Elections in the areas zones, provinces, regions, women and the Premier Soccer League have now been held to form the 58-member council that will elect the Zifa president, his deputy and four board members on Saturday.
Zifa were cited as the first respondents while the Sports and Recreation Commission with whom Sangula had earlier unsuccessfully sought recourse were the second respondents.
Sangula listed a number of points which he said form the basis of his application. He said he intending to be a candidate in the Zifa elections, but it was not clear on Tuesday if he had filed his nomination papers.
Zifa, who are being represented by Harare lawyer Lewis Uriri, dismissed Sangula’s claims.
“Your client’s complaint letter was addressed to the Sport and Recreation Commission and we naturally responded to the said institution after the same requested a reaction from us,” said the national association’s attorneys.
“The letter was never addressed to us as per protocol. Further it was the prerogative of the Sport and Recreation Commission to serve your client since the letter had been sent to them directly.”
Zifa also argue that the minutes which Sangula was demanding “are only circulated to members/affiliates of Zifa. We currently are unaware which affiliate your client represents.”
Sangula had also argued in his application that on the balance of convenience he stood to suffer more harm than Zifa if the court did not grant him the relief that he sought.
“The respondents cannot be prejudiced by an order which simply ensures that the status quo is maintained until this Honourable court decides on the summons matter referred to,” he argued.Advertisement

“I aver that this Honourable court should lean in favour of protecting applicant’s interest as clearly established herein as the balance of convenience lies squarely in favour of the relief that applicant seeks.”