‘REDUCED TO PAUPERS’

  • Desperate ZIFA employees send SOS to Cuthbert Dube

  • Workers sign petition crying foul over unpaid salaries

Cuthbert Dube

Cuthbert Dube

Sports Reporter
ZIFA employees claim that they have been reduced to paupers by their employer and have now petitioned the Association president Cuthbert Dube over salaries which have not been paid for a number of months.

Virtually all ZIFA workers, save for the association chief executive Jonathan Mashingaidze and spokesperson Xolisani Gwesela, have signed the petition and believe that their employer has been neglecting their welfare.

ZIFA, who are broke, have been struggling to meet their obligations and have also failed to pay Warriors coach Callisto Pasuwa for the 10 months that he has been in charge of the senior national team and the Young Warriors.

The association had to be bailed out by the Government to enable the Warriors to travel to the Comoros for a CHAN qualifier last week, after the Sports Commission intervened to resolve a crisis that also saw Pasuwa briefly walking out on the team over unpaid dues.

Pasuwa was paid an undisclosed amount by the Sports Commission, while the players also received $300 each for their trip to the Comoros.

But the ZIFA workers now feel that they have been abandoned by their employer and have raised their concerns in a letter that was sent to Dube yesterday.

All the workers who signed the letter said they were not forced by anyone to put their signatures to that petition.

“Following our letter requesting for staff welfare dated 27th April, 2015, we as the staff would like to bring to your attention that this matter is still to be addressed and this has now affected our day-to-day operational obligations as Secretariat,” the ZIFA workers said in their statement.

“We last received a back pay in February 2015, we are now Fourteen (14) months in arrears.

“We have been battling to make ends meet for both our families and coming to work daily, needless to speak of a healthy life.

“Mr President Sir, some of our colleagues have been in and out of hospital and our employer, ZIFA, has not assisted in any way whatsoever.

“In the process, we have lost one of our dear colleague, Ms Sheila Ncube, who was not able to foot medical bills on her own, moreover most of the staff members have been evicted out of their (rented) houses due to non-payment of rentals.

“Others have had their properties attached. Our children have been kicked out of school just to mention (but a) few.

“Sir, we kindly seek to be treated fairly hence we have written to you with our concerns, therefore, we expect not be victimised as the Labour Act, Part II: FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS OF EMPLOYEES states that:

(6) Protection of employees’ right to fair labour standards

(7) Protection of employees’ rights to democracy in the work place.”

The ZIFA workers claim that they have now been reduced to paupers with no-one ready to help them as they battle to make ends meet without being paid for their services.

“Sir, we have been reduced to mere paupers, turned into professional beggars in order to make ends meet,” the ZIFA workers said.

“Mr President, we hereby plead with your esteemed office and person to mobilise resources on our behalf.

“Your urgent attention regarding this matter is greatly appreciated. Please note that the letter was signed willingly. No-one was under duress.”

Those who signed the petition include Obert Mamvura (Referees’ Desk Manager); Timothy Mazhindu (TMS Manager); Alice Mwale (PA to the chief executive); Malynn Chifamba (Finance Manager); Amon Tavengwa (Office Orderly); Wendy Chaku (Secretary Technical); Weston Mabhande (Competitions Manager); Annah Gwaza (Caterer); Matthew Makuwerere (House Keeper); Merry Bharu (Secretary Judicial); Austen Pikweli (Junior Football Co-ordinator); Benjamin Dhewa (Finance Manager) and Fabion Vanganayi (Accountant).

ZIFA have been battling to balance their books and find themselves in a race against time to resolve the Valinhos issue before the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers draw are held this month which would, effectively, confirm that the Warriors will not play in the tournament.

The national team was thrown out of the 2018 World Cup qualifiers after Valinhos took his case to FIFA and the world football governing body ruled that ZIFA had breached the conditions of service they entered with the Brazilian gaffer when he agreed to come here and coach the Warriors.

Valinhos is owed about $81 000.

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