Gift Banda
Gift Banda Biography
Born (1969-04-26) April 26, 1969 (age 53)
Known forBeing a football administrator

Gift Banda is a Zimbabwean politician and a football administrator. Banda is the former Njube Sundowns director. He was voted the Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA) vice president in 2018 before he was suspended in January 2019. In April 2022, Banda was voted ZIFA interim president at an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM).

Background

Children

Banda fathered a daughter out of wedlock, in a love affair with Kholiwe Sitshoni, which was exposed by Sunday News in 2009. In 2009, Gift Banda had initially demanded that the child be taken for paternity tests before he started paying maintenance. A court, however, ordered that until the tests were done, he should pay maintenance without fail. He was also told to meet the costs of the paternity tests, which were reportedly never done.[1]

Maintenance

According to a consent order issued by the Maintenance Court of Zimbabwe in Bulawayo in January 2014, case number S21/09, Banda consented to pay US$150 per month as maintenance for the child he sired with Kholiwe Sitshoni.

Also in the document, he agreed to pay the child's school fees until she finished her education, transport and medical expenses, as and when necessary.

In September 2014, Banda was reportedly in arrears amounting to $2 400, dating back to 2013.

The breakdown is as follows:

  1. $900 being maintenance in terms of school fees for Term 1, 2 and 3 of 2014 for . . . (Daughter of Gift Banda).
  2. $300 expenses incurred when . . . Was not feeling well for the last two months.
  3. $300 maintenance for July and August 2014 for . . .
  4. $900 maintenance arrears for 2013 that he agreed to pay before the honourable court of law.

Sitshoni told a publication that Gift Banda was requesting for their daughter to attend what she termed a "third-grade school" because he could not afford to take her to the schools where her sisters and brothers were attending. According to Sitshoni they were/had been to Falcon College, Masiyephambili and Dominican Convent.[1]

Career

As Deputy Mayor

In February 2017, Banda and former Ward 21 councillor, Reuben Matengu were fired from council by an independent tribunal set up by the then Local Government Minister Saviour Kasukuwere for alleged gross misconduct and mismanagement. The two had been suspended in September 2016.

Banda was found guilty of getting a lease for the construction of a social club at Hume Park without following the proper procedure but was exonerated in the purchase of a piece of land at Ascot racecourse for the construction of townhouses.[2]

Banda allegedly used his influence to get the lease where he signed the application for the stand on behalf of Entertainment Headquarters where he was a principal and prominent artist, Simon Mambazo Phiri also co-signed as a director and project leader.


Gift Banda questioned the findings of the independent tribunal which made the recommendation to relieve him of his duties.

On the charge where he was found guilty of(using his position to acquire the lease of a residential stand in Hume Park, Banda said that Bulawayo City Council had denied the application hence no papers were processed nor was the lease handed over to him.

According to a letter provided by Gift Banda from the local authority’s director of engineering services, Engineer Simela Dube dated May 14, 2014 (reference number: TP 6,5 S/Park), council turned down the application for the Hume Park stand for the construction of a social club noting that there was no land available in the area.[3]

In August 2017, the High Court however acquitted Banda of the alleged offence and ordered his reinstatement.[4] Bulawayo High Court judge Justice Martin Makonese ruled that the decision of the tribunal was not grounded on any facts on the record of proceedings and the Minister relied on misrepresentations to fire Gift Banda.[5]

ZIFA

Banda beat Omega Sibanda, former Sparrows owner Mandla Moyo and Musa Mandaza to the Zifa Southern Region chairman’s post in 2010. In December 2018, Gift Banda was voted Zifa vice president after getting 37 to Omega Sibanda's 22.[6]

Before the elections, Banda had been disqualified from taking part in the polls by the ZIFA electoral college which had cited undisclosed reasons.

Banda and Felton Kamambo took the case to FIFA which led to their re-admission into the race.[7]


Banda was suspended by his Zifa executive committee colleagues after a board meeting on January 16, 2019, exactly a month after winning the Zifa vice presidency.

He was accused of reshuffling the senior national team’s technical staff when he removed then assistant coaches Rahman Gumbo and Lloyd Mutasa, replacing them with Tonderai Ndiraya and Bongani Mafu respectively.

His colleagues claimed Gift Banda made that decision unilaterally without engaging the executive, a charge that Banda dismissed.

He was supposed to be brought before a disciplinary committee within two weeks but the Zifa disciplinary committee only exonerated him of all charges after 14 months on March 7, 2020.

But before he assumed his duties, the Zifa executive appealed against its own disciplinary committee’s decision. On June 2, 2020, the appeal was thrown out on a technicality by the appeals committee after Zifa failed to comply with Article 7 of the Zifa rules and regulations which states that an appeal must be accompanied by an appeal fee. Zifa had not provided proof that it had paid the appeal fee.

Instead of allowing Banda to assume his duties, Zifa went on to apply for condonation which was granted. The matter was still to be heard when Gift Banda was voted interim Zifa president at a Zifa extraordinary congress on 23 April 2022.[8]

Banda was given the mandate to lead the Zifa executive committee that constituted of Farai Jere, Barbara Chikosi and Sugar Chagonda. The Zifa councillors unanimously voted to recall the association's president Felton Kamambo, and two other board members Philemon Machana and Bryton Malandule.

The meeting, presided over by Zifa lawyer Chenaimwoyo Gumiro, had 45 out of 58 congress members in attendance.[9]

Controversies

Fraud & Forgery Court Case

Banda, was jointly accused with Mbonisi Nkomazana, of forging signatures of Nkululeko Ndlovu resulting in the latter allegedly losing a residential stand worth US$60 000.

Giving his testimony before Magistrate Tinashe Tashaya, Ndlovu told the court that sometime in September 2017, he entered into a verbal agreement with Banda to sell his Selbourne Brook house to him.

He said Banda failed to pay for the stand and he promised to offer me a bigger stand in Paddonhurst in exchange for the Selbourne one.

Ndlovu said Gift Banda again failed to provide the stand resulting in him cancelling the verbal agreement through a WhatsApp message. He said that Banda refused to accept the cancellation and proceeded to deposit US$ 2000 into Ndlovu's Steward Account and began to do some construction at the stand without Ndlovu's consent.

Ndlovu told the court that he then approached his lawyers to stop Banda from carrying out further construction work at the stand.

He said that Banda remained defiant and continued with developments on the stand. Thus resulted in Ndlovu approaching the High Court to declare the sale a legal nullity. The case was still pending at the High Court when they appeared at the Magistrates Court.

Ndlovu accused Banda of forging his signatures on the Agreement of Sale as well as the Cessation documents.

Gift Banda's lawyer Munyaradzi Nzarayapenga denied that his client had forged the signatures. He told the court that Ndlovu was the one who had instead forged his signatures in order to implicate Banda.

Nzarapenga produced in court a report from handwriting expert Lenard Tendai Nare who confirmed that the signatures on the documents were indeed signed by Ndlovu.

During the trial, the magistrate constantly warned Ndlovu of the consequences of failing to respond to answers from the defence after he on numerous occasions failed to respond to questions and resort to posing questions to the defence.[10]

On 3 July 2020, Bulawayo magistrate Tinashe Tashaya acquitted Gift Banda of forgery charges.[11]

Criminal Abuse of Duty

On 13 December 2018, Banda appeared before a Bulawayo magistrate facing criminal abuse of duty offence he allegedly committed during his time as deputy mayor.

Banda, who is also party chair for Bulawayo province, was accused of fraudulently processing a lease agreement for a piece of land under the name of an unregistered company owned by his daughter, Samantha.

Prosecuting, Nkathazo Dlodlo told the court that Gift Banda acquired a stand measuring 3,82 hectares on behalf of Entertainment Headquarters, a company reportedly owned by Samantha and another shareholder only identified in court papers as Simon Mambaza.

Between January 2014 and December 2015, it was further alleged, that Banda connived with members of the council sub-committee to corruptly process a lease agreement for stand number 187964 Bulawayo Township on behalf of Entertainment Headquarters.

According to the state, the company never existed at the time of signing the lease agreement. Entertainment Headquarters was registered a year after it had already obtained the lease agreement.

Gift Banda allegedly abused his position as deputy mayor to acquire the lease without going through laid down council‘s tender procedures.

Under Circular Number 3 of 2015, councillors are entitled to buy a residential stand at 40 percent discount on the purchase price on condition that they would not have been previously allocated a stand.

Magistrate Adelaide Mbeure granted Banda $100 bail and he is expected to be back in court on February 1 2019.[4]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Peter Matika, ‘Mr Gee’ Banda in bitter maintenance wrangle . . . again!, Sunday News, Published: September 7, 2014, Retrieved: April 27, 2022
  2. Vusumuzi Dube, Gift Banda fired, The Chronicle, Published: Fenruary 28, 2017, Retrieved: April 27, 2022
  3. Vusumuzi Dube, Gift Banda ‘unaware’ of dismissal, The Chronicle, Published: March 1, 2017, Retrieved: April 27, 2022
  4. 4.0 4.1 Ex-Bulawayo deputy mayor Gift Banda in court for fraud, NewZimbabwe.com, Published: December 14, 2018, Retrieved: April 27, 2022
  5. Mashudu Netsianda, High Court orders reinstatement of Bulawayo Deputy Mayor Gift Banda, The Chronicle, Published: August 25, 2017, Retrieved: April 27, 2022
  6. Ricky Zililo, Time to unite football family: Banda, The Chronicle, Published: December 18, 2018, Retrieved: April 27, 2022
  7. Tadious Manyepo, WINDS OF CHANGE . . . Philip Chiyangwa, Omega Sibanda sensationally booted out as ZIFA bosses, The Herald, Published: December 17, 2018, Retrieved: April 27, 2022
  8. Sikhumbuzo Moyo, Gift Banda set for Zifa rebound as boss, The Chronicle, Published: January 24, 2022, Retrieved: April 27, 2022
  9. Ricky Zililo, It’s time to mend relations: Gift Banda, The Chronicle, Published: April 25, 2022, Retrieved: April 27, 2022
  10. MDC Bulawayo MP being tried for fraud, NewZimbabwe.com, Published: March 4, 2020, Retrieved: April 27, 2022
  11. CITE, Twitter, Published: July 3, 2020, Retrieved: April 27, 2022