THE Zimbabwe Women Football Association Matabeleland South provincial chairperson Samukele Sibanda was labelled a “Gamatox” and threatened with expulsion from the Zifa Village in the middle of the night after she refused to sign a petition calling for the suspension of the national chairperson, Miriam Sibanda.
She becomes the second councillor to publicly reveal refusing to sign the petition after Northern region boss Wilbert Rambanapasi distanced himself from the ‘clandestine and unprocedural’ gathering on Monday.
Gamatox is a term used to refer to a cabal led by former Vice-President Joice Mujuru that was expelled from Zanu-PF and the government for plotting to assassinate President Robert Mugabe.
As details continue to emerge, the Bulawayo delegation was allegedly given $500 by Zifa for transport and the money was delivered by administrator Theresa Maguraushe. Some sources said one of the Bulawayo delegation members Butho Ngwenya, whose participation in the flawed meeting surprised many as he was said not to be a member of the region or province, was given $600 before departure for Harare.
Ngwenya, who claims to be a member of the southern region board, allegedly caused more drama in Harare after he allegedly signed on behalf of Samukele Sibanda who had stood her ground saying she did not know the crime which the trio (Miriam, board members Ben Mamoshe and Edwin Magosvongwe) had committed.
The meeting has since been described as null and void by the Zifa vice president Omega Sibanda.
Samukele told the Chronicle Sport that there were many anomalies in the manner the suspensions were carried out.
“When they phoned me, they said the meeting was for us to meet with the Zifa president Cuthbert Dube and the chief executive officer Jonathan Mashingaidze where we’ll then speak about problems we’re facing in women football. There was no mention of a petition and naturally I was surprised upon getting to Harare and being given a document to sign. I refused and said how can I sign something which I wasn’t part of and in any event I’m not the province myself but I represent a constituency which I should consult first before making any decision,” said Sibanda during an interview from Harare where she was part of Super League clubs that attended a meeting chaired by Miriam Sibanda yesterday.
All the 11 clubs vowed to play under Miriam’s leadership.
Samukele said after she refused to sign, she was threatened with expulsion by central region boss Beaular Musara, daughter to Farisai Tongogara – the owner of Gweru’s Chipembere Queens and a close ally of Cuthbert Dube.
“Together with Brighton Kadenge, Dumisani Sithole and Mai Muzvidziwa (Rosemary Muzvidziwa, Masvingo chairperson), they called me a gamatox and threatened to chuck me out of the Village. Since it was late at night there was nothing I could do so I asked for time to go through the document before signing. In the morning, they sent Ngwenya to come and talk to me but I totally refused and I strongly suspect he signed on my behalf because I didn’t,” said Sibanda.
Sithole was representing Mutare side Faith Drive, whose owner, a Musikavanhu is said to have written a letter yesterday expressing her allegiance to the ‘deposed’ trio. “She said all she wanted was for her team to play football and nothing else,” said an insider.
When contacted about the allegations, Kadenge claimed a telephone conversation with this writer, which was proceeding smoothly, was no longer audible when asked about the Gamatox slur.
“Sorry I can’t hear you properly now,” he said before switching off his mobile phone.
Kadenge is a son-in-law to the Chipembere Queens owner Tongogara . Another family member, believed to be his wife, Shyllete Kadenge, was also part of the councillors who attended the Monday meeting.
Muzvidziwa is alleged to have come with her two daughters as well. She was not picking up her mobile phone yesterday while her Mutare counterpart, a Kawera denied ever attending the meeting despite the fact that she was there.
“Please don’t trouble me,” was all she could say before she too switched off her mobile phone.
Last night, Zifa vice-president Sibanda said they would make further comments after getting the finer details of what really transpired on Monday.
“Once we get the papers with all the details, we will then be able to map the way forward,” he said.