By Anashe Murombedzi
The Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) is hoping more sexual offenders will be arrested, after former Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA) Referees Committee secretary general Obert Zhoya was banned by the World football governing body FIFA on Friday.
Zhoya was slapped with a five-year ban from all football activities by FIFA after he was found guilty of abusing his position to sexually harass female referees.
He was co-accused with suspended ZIFA Executive Committee member Bryton Malandule, who was the board member in charge of referees.
The issues that got Zhoya indicted were reported to ZIFA over three years ago, but the local football governing body did not deal with it until the issue was taken to FIFA.
As a result, the SRC is set to put programs to deal with issues of sexual harassment.
“As the SRC in partnership with our stakeholders we’ll officially launch a programme that will specifically addresses the issues to do with sexual harassment that will involve internal processes to avoid these incidents to ensure that the organisation that manages sport have systems and structures that deals with sexual harassment,” SRC spokesperson Eltah Nengomasha said.
The SRC is also pushing for the Sports integrity Bill to be passed into law.
SRC board member Karen Mutasa said, “With the new constitution that has been put in place now, we will draft a new constitution that ZIFA would need to follow under and it’s going to cover sexual harassment and if you see FIFA have a specific department that deals with this. So, now we’re in the process at least the referees of football to know the contacts of the Ethics Committee at FIFA they can report to and ZIFA under the new constitution. We hope they will abide by it and that should give them a platform.”
Meanwhile, Zhoya and Malandule will be brought before trial on the 13th of this month.