ZIFA LOSES BUS OVER DEBT
THE Zimbabwe Football Association’s (Zifa) only bus, which was donated by Fifa, at the end of the World Cup played in South Africa in 2010, is today set to go under the hammer after a local hospitality company obtained a writ of execution against the soccer body for the recovery of an over $162 000 debt.
The firm, Daisy’s Guest House, successfully sued Zifa and obtained a writ of execution in April this year to recover $161 762 for accommodation, food and beverages provided to the senior men’s football team between January 2014 and June this year. However, on Wednesday this week, the South African Football Association (Safa) intervened and filed an urgent chamber application at the High Court seeking to stay the planned auction, arguing the attached Hyundai bus, registration number ZGT 883 GP, does not belong to Zifa, but to Safa.
In her founding affidavit while applying for a writ of execution which was granted by High Court judge Justice Lavender Makoni in June this year, Daisy’s Guest House director Daisy Rusere, through her lawyer Charles Chinyama, said there were no doubts that the bus belonged to Zifa, but that the association intended to conceal the vehicle’s identity in order to avoid lawsuits.
“. . . For all intense and purposes, this bus was an outright donation by Fifa to several football associations in Southern Africa after the World Cup that was played in South Africa and is a personal property of Zifa . . . Further, any motor vehicle that finds its way into Zimbabwe carrying foreign registration numbers will, as a matter of law, always have to enter the country with a temporary import permit. There is no exception for motor vehicles which are donated,” Chinyama said.
“Funny enough, this current motor vehicle does not have an import permit or other import documents, which explain its presence here in Zimbabwe and this can only go a long way to show that the motor vehicle belongs to the judgment debtor (Zifa). “This is further compounded by the fact that instead of the motor vehicle being ordinarily kept at the offices of the judgment debtor, there were attempts to conceal it by having it parked at 160 Enterprise Road, Harare, which are offices of one of the several companies owned by the Zifa president (Phillip Chiyangwa).”
Safa representative Itayi Ndudzo, who filed the urgent application, insisted in his founding affidavit that the bus belonged to his client, but had only been given to Zifa to temporarily use under certain conditions. “On May 2, 2017, Safa, represented by its chief executive officer Denis Mumble, entered into an agreement with Zifa for the storage, limited use and possession of a Hyundai bus, registration number ZGT 883 GP. To date, the bus is registered in South Africa in the name of the applicant,” Ndudzo said.
“The primary purpose of the bus was for use by South African national teams on their visits to Zimbabwe for friendly matches. However, Zifa was granted limited use of the bus purely on the basis of a mutual understanding shared between two national associations administering football in their respective countries.”
Ndudzo further said while the bus was in Zifa’s possession, the Sheriff, acting on the instructions of the hospitality firm, as the judgment creditor, in a matter against Zifa in case number HC6491/16, attached the bus in execution on June 14, 2017.