Saturday, 26 September 2015

‘We were only paid $400 each’

ZIFA board members – Twine Phiri and John Phiri – have revealed they were paid $400 each, in allowances to cover their board expenses, from funds generated from gate receipts after the 2017 Nations Cup qualifier between Zimbabwe and Guinea earlier this month.

The Premier Soccer League chairman, and the Warriors legend, came to Herald House last night on a mission to “clear our names of the allegations that we looted funds from gate-takings” after they were sucked in the controversy that has been raging on for weeks.
The Premier Soccer League chairman, and the Warriors legend, came to Herald House last night on a mission to “clear our names of the allegations that we looted funds from gate-takings” after they were sucked in the controversy that has been raging on for weeks.
ZIFA president Cuthbert Dube castigated the decision by the ZIFA board members to go into the cash-room at Rufaro, where money from gate-takings was being counted, saying such an exercise was an insult to their commitment to have proper corporate governance ethics.

Last night, Twine and John Phiri said their names had been dragged into the mud in the past few weeks and claimed that they were only paid $400 in allowances each and the payment was consistent with a board resolution two days before the game against Guinea.

However, this still exposes Chihuri given that he signed for $4 000, the first being a $2 800 payment, and the second being a $1 200 payment.

It also exposes the ZIFA spin-doctors who have been trying, day and night, to try and conceal these transactions and did not reveal them in the income/expenditure statement they published shortly after the Guinea game and the other one they sent to the Sports Commission for an audit.

“I was paid $400 and this was for my allowances, remember we have been holding meetings nearly every week, and there is a board resolution on the Friday, two days before the game against Guinea, that we should be paid these allowances,” Phiri, the PSL boss, said.

“There are minutes from that Board meeting to support that and the initial agreement was that we would be paid $500 each, in allowances, from money generated from the game but then we were paid $400 each. I don’t see where the anomaly is, in as far as that payment was concerned, because it’s something that we agreed on as a Board and the minutes are there to back there.

“My payment was done above board and I was only paid on Monday, the day after the match, and I signed for that payment to show that it was above board. I don’t want to talk about any other funds that I don’t know or which I was not in control of and I can only speak about this $400.”

Phiri said he was part of the team that accompanied Chihuri from Rufaro, on Sunday night, after his fellow Board Member had picked $22 000 from the cash room, which was meant to be for the Warriors.

“The ZIFA president asked me, on the day before the game, to go and address the players and I picked John Phiri, Hara and we met Jonathan Mashingaidze at the lodge where the team was staying.,” said the PSL boss.

“At around midnight, on the same day, I got a call from Prophet Magaya who advised me that there was an issue in camp where the players were saying they would not fulfill the game unless they were paid some money. The next day, on Sunday morning, I went to the Prophet’s house and met him where we discussed the issue that was in camp and I told him that we were not able to make any payment, because we did not have money as ZIFA, and he asked how much was needed.

“I said we needed about $20 000 and the Prophet said that would not be enough and we pushed the money to $30 000 and Prophet Magaya emphasised that we should have a signed document, in the presence of his lawyer, so that we would not go back against our word that we would pay the players from the gate-takings. We all signed that document and that when Prophet Magaya said that he would also give the boys $20 000 from his personal resources to add to what we were going to give them, which was $30 000, should they win that game.

“After the game, we met as ZIFA board members who were at Rufaro and discussed the issue and Chihuri said he could give us $22 000, since the team had not won, and that is the money that he collected, as the board member in charge of finance, from Rufaro to the lodge where the boys were staying. This issue that we all went into the cash room is not true and we only joined Chihuri after he asked us to accompany him, since he was carrying a lot of cash, from Rufaro to the lodge where the players where. After we gave the $22 000 to the acting team manager, who was Dr (Nick) Munyonga, Cuthbert Chitima then gave him the $20 000 that Prophet Magaya had promised and that was end of our transaction.”

John Phiri said he only got $400 and could not speak about other funds that he did not receive.

“It’s sad that our reputations have been tarnished right now because of this story but we were only paid allowances, and this was in the spirit of the Board resolution that we should be paid that amount,” said John Phiri.

“I also went and gave Hara his $400, which he signed for that day.”

The Warriors legend said they worked around the clock, in the two days leading to the match, just to ensure that the game was played and the players did not boycott the game.
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