Home SPORTS ZIFA pay over $8m in legacy debt dissolution

ZIFA pay over $8m in legacy debt dissolution

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ZIFA have, in the past few weeks, been busy clearing the legacy debt which has been haunting them for years and crippling their operations.

The national football governing body have already paid $8 million to their creditors in what represents a huge development for an organisation which has been limping for a while.

Although the association have chosen not to declare their house-cleaning exercise, many of the creditors, who have since been paid, have confirmed receiving their dues.

The ZIFA board will meet in Harare today, to discuss a number of issues which have been affecting football since the Covid-19 pandemic put a halt to the game in the country.

The local football governing board received US$500 000 from FIFA recently for their operational costs and it was not clear whether part of that money was used to clear the legacy debt.

ZIFA have been swimming in the red for some years, with the debt ballooning to about $10 million.

But, in the past few weeks, they have settled their debt with CBZ Bank, which had been housed under the Zimbabwe Asset Management Company (ZAMCO), which accommodates non-performing loans.

CBZ Bank were owed $1 795 000.

It was not clear whether the debt was cleared in full.

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ZAMCO chief executive, Cosmas Kanhai, only confirmed the payment, but refused to shed light on the balance.

“They made a significant payment to their account, but I cannot tell you the balance due to client confidentiality,’’ said Kanhai.

“You can confirm the figures with ZIFA or, if they give us the green light to share that information, then we can freely do so.’’

Sources confirmed to The Saturday Herald that a huge chunk of that debt was paid.

“If there is anything, in terms of the remainder of that debt, then it’s a very small amount,’’ the sources said.

“Most, if not all, of that debt has been paid off, but of course, there is always the issue of some charges here and there. But, what I can tell you is that the issue of that debt is now history.’’

The Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority debt was also paid.

Former ZIFA president, Cuthbert Dube, has also been paid about $900 000 he was owed after securing loans, on the association’s behalf, during his stint as the association leader.

The national team coaches, who were also owed various amounts by ZIFA stretching back to 2010, are also being paid.

It has emerged that former Warriors coach, Rahman Gumbo, who presided over in the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers, has been paid his outstanding dues.

Rahman was owed $78 000 for that adventure.

Other former Warriors coaches who were owed by ZIFA are Norman Mapeza ($245 000), Callisto Pasuwa ($103 000) and Sunday “Mhofu” Chidzambwa ($67 000).

The trio are managed by FIFA intermediary, Gibson Mahachi, who told this publication that his clients have not yet been approached by the association for verification and payment.

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As for Chidzambwa, ZIFA were disputing the figure the veteran gaffer claimed the association owed him, when he took them to the High Court in 2010.

The coach claimed he was only paid US$23 000 out of a total of US$90 000 he was owed when he resigned in April 2009.

He had secured the head coach’s job at Free State Stars in the South African Premiership.

It was not clear last night whether Chidzambwa is also owed from the Warriors adventure at the AFCON finals in Egypt last year.

Pasuwa, who is now coaching in Malawi, presided over the Warriors 2017 AFCON qualifiers and finals.

He was in charge for one year following his appointment in 2016.

Former Warriors coach Charles Mhlauri was also owed $17 270 while Nelson Matongorere was owed $113 463. To date, the sources said, the association have paid more than $8 million, having started with the major creditors.

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ZIFA officials are, however, reluctant to reveal more details pertaining to their debt settlement exercise.

The sources said the ZIFA officials wanted to first complete the exercise before talking about it publicly.

ZIFA president, Felton Kamambo, has been urging anyone who is owed money by the association to go for verification with their auditors.

The Herald understands the association’s auditors, who were engaged to assist ZIFA with the debt verification exercise, have covered considerable ground.

Other notable creditors who were part of the legacy debt include the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority ($504 998, 62), Pandari Lodges and Conference Centre ($268 436), international match agents Kentaro ($600 000), NSSA ($149 517, 14), the Sports and Recreation Commission ($180 386, 40) and Led Travel &Tours ($244 527).

Meanwhile, COVID-19 and its lockdown-induced effects will take centre stage today when the ZIFA board meet in Harare.

The meeting is expected to discuss how the governing body can assist their constituency at a time the clubs and players have been feeling the full weight of the crisis.

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