New Zimbabwe.com

‘Shameless’ Zifa abandoned veteran administrator; family disappointed by lack of support

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By Clayton Shereni|Masvingo Correspondent


THE Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA) has been castigated for allegedly failing to offer any ‘meaningful’ assistance to its founding Eastern Region Administrator, Thadeous Machawira who passed on last week.

Machawira had a long battle with an undisclosed illness spanning for over two months and ZIFA reportedly contributed just ZW$$120,000 towards his medical bills.

The veteran administrator, who served the association for two decades, was reportedly neglected with his family was left to cover his medical bills.

Family spokesperson and son, Tichaona revealed that the association transferred ZW$300,000 towards funeral expenses.

“Assistance during his illness was ZW$160,000 and, by that time, it was equivalent to around US$120,” he said.

“They would just say they don’t have money, the region is constrained etc when we called them. Surprisingly, soon after his demise, ZIFA issued a statement claiming he was one of them, but in times of need they were nowhere to be seen.

“… and (when he died) the same region which claimed to be penniless called asking what we needed for the funeral and they sent ZW$300 000. So far, there are no commitments in assisting the family left behind and no talk of his legacy yet.”

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Another family member who spoke on condition of anonymity rebuked ZIFA for its treatment of a man they described as a father figure.

“These people are a huge disappointment and have failed to render any meaningful assistance towards a man who toiled to see the region grow,” said the relative.

“Almost, if not all of them, who sit on the Eastern Region board were somehow assisted by our old man, but they are nowhere to be found today.”

NewZimbabwe.com also visited the Machawira homestead in Gutu where he was laid to rest last Friday.

Only a handful of ZIFA delegates, led by Patient Dube, who is board member in charge of fixtures, turned up for the burial.

Eastern Region Vice Chairman Wisdom Simba, however, had another story to tell and claimed that they took care of the now deceased and paid for his medical expenses.

“As a region, we have been assisting Machawira in so many ways,” said Simba.

“We took care of some of his medical expenses and, before his death, we paid for all the tests. We also contributed quite a substantive amount which went towards funeral costs. As for the surviving spouse, if resources permit, we will assist whenever we can.”

ZIFA has hogged the limelight for abuse of funds, including the Covid-19 relief money, with a substantial amount not being accounted for.

The association has been paying huge allowances since 2018 to its top brass in thousands of US$ as monthly allowances according to a forensic audit report released recently.