By Jeff Kapembwa
Lusaka - Uncertainty characterises Zambian football following legal matters surrounding the administration of the country’s favoured sport.
While the global football governing body, FIFA, has sanctioned the elections of the country’s FA on 28 March after it underwent various formalities as enshrined in the body’s rules, some losing candidates that sought to contest the leadership positions of the FA and had petitioned the decision to proceed with the elective polls have been granted relief by the High Court seeking a determination of the matter.
An order of an injunction issued by the Ndola based High Court has directed that the polls be put on hold until the concerns by some aggrieved parties are heard and determined as sought for relief. Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) acting communications manager, Sydney Mungala, in a statement seen by The Southern Times said the planned elections in Livingstone, a town on the border with Zimbabwe, will wait until the matter is resolved by the court in Zambia.
FAZ had scheduled to hold elections during the course of the week in selected provinces, including Muchinga, but may have to wait until the matter is redressed as sought in the courts of law.
FAZ has held elections in Eastern, Western, North-Western, Copperbelt, Luapula and Northern Provinces. Mungala stated that FIFA has guided FAZ on the electoral process from inception and on March 13, 2020, provided further guidance to FAZ on the electoral process.
Banned aspiring officials, Damiano Mutale and a non-member, Patson Lusaka, had applied to have elections halted through a High Court order. A similar attempt was made earlier in the Lusaka High Court to halt the elections but after the court granted an inter-parte hearing, the process was abandoned.
The FAZ elective annual general meeting is set for March 28, 2020 in Livingstone at the Fairmount Hotel. A prominent Lusaka lawyer says the move by the world football governing to allow FAZ to proceed with elections is an act of contempt of the High Court of Zambia.
Lawyers, Lewis Mosho of Lewis Nathan Advocates, in his letter of 13 March to FAZ argues that the decision by FIFA sanctioning a go-ahead with the poll was encouraging anarchy and defiance of court orders issued by the High court.
In a statement, he argued that “no statute in Zambia has ousted the High Court’s jurisdiction to deal with rights of members of FAZ when they are violated”. FIFA should clearly look into the matters involving individuals that were disqualified from taking part in upcoming elections.
If FAZ and its officials continue with the electoral process, they will face temerity of the Zambian law. Mosho appealed to FIFA to counsel the FAZ executive to obey the court order until the matter is resolved.
Earlier, FIFA gave a go ahead to the FAZ polls, according to correspondence dated 15 March and signed by Veron Mosengo-Omba, an official of the governing body.