Zifa election fever, as nominations close tomorrow

HARARE - Nominations for the Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) board elections are set to close tomorrow with all indications pointing to incumbent president Cuthbert Dube winning another four-year term in office.

Countdown has already started for the much-anticipated polls, scheduled for March 29, with Dube emerging as early favourite in the battle for Zifa despite a somewhat tainted image due to revelation of his shocking earnings as Psmas chief executive in the widely-publicised Salarygate scandal.

Just as in the 2010 election which initially ushered him into office, Dube seems to enjoy the backing of the influential Zifa councillors, provincial and regional chairpersons who vote on the day of the election.

Dube’s administration made a number of telling blunders during their time in office, but somehow appears to have been forgiven by the various football stakeholders.

On two occasions Zimbabwe failed to send the Under-17 and Under-20 national teams for return leg fixtures in Angola under Dube’s watch.

The Dube administration also passionately pursed the Asiagate match-fixing scandal which has left Zifa at loggerheads with the world governing body Fifa.

The only possible candidate who has come out in the open to declare his intentions of challenging Dube is ex-footballer Charlie Jones.

“I bring to the table a lot of experience. I played it at junior level to senior level right up to national team level,” Jones told the Daily News in January.

“I have been fortunate enough to manage at the highest level. I managed CAPS United, which was actually the first team I played for at senior club level. I was also fortunate to have coached and got a team promoted from division one to the PSL, Air Zimbabwe Jets. And I chaired Arcadia United.

“If anyone can put anything on the table in terms of qualification, I want to see someone who can beat that. I grew up in football, it’s in my blood. I’ve been involved in it from the roots.”

Not many people have been keen to contest in the election due to the exorbitant nomination fees gazetted by Zifa.

To contest in the board elections a candidate has to fork out $5 000 as the nomination fee.

Initially, the figure stood at $10 000 but the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) order Zifa to reduce the fee as it had deterred a number of willing candidates.

Another possible candidate for the Zifa top post is Harare City chairperson Leslie Gwindi, who first has to battle his five-year ban before he can contest the election.

Zifa’s disciplinary committee slapped the outspoken administrator with a five-year ban for bringing the game into disrepute following his public utterances in which he allegedly denigrated the association, the Premier Soccer League and their sponsors Delta Beverages.

Gwindi has since made a High Court application to squash the ban but it is not clear whether it will be successful.

Rumour is also rife that football broadcaster Charles Mabika will also throw his name in the hat. Mabika has however remained tight lipped on the matter.

All these factors have virtually left Dube in the driving seat for a second term as Zifa president.

Xolisani Gwesela, the Zifa spokesperson, said the association will only announce the names of the candidates contesting the election after the nominees have been vetted.

“Although the nomination closes on March 14, the rules of the lection state that we can only announce the names of the candidates after they have been cleared by the vetting meeting,” said Gwesela.

“The vetting meeting for the Zifa board meeting is going to be held on March 22 and after the candidates have been cleared that’s when we will be able to make their names public.”

Comments (2)

Mabika panyanga go CNN go

shumba - 20 March 2014

The contests for the ZIFA Chairmanship should be left between "CNN" CHARLES MABIKA and CHARLIE JONES for the other two have to clear themselves first. there is nothing very bad with the two but transparent should be sort first. I know they are capable but

CHINHONDO MARVELLOUS - 24 March 2014

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