Crunch time ahead of Zifa elections

HARARE - Cuthbert Dube yesterday broke his silence and addressed reporters ahead of tomorrow’s watershed Zifa board elections, where he will be seeking a fresh terms as president of the Zimbabwean FA.

Dube, who has been at the helm of Zifa since 2010, has kept a low profile since being forced to leave the Premier Service Medical Aid Society (Psmas), where he was group CEO, following disclosures of his out-of-this-world earnings in a purge now known as Salarygate.

Yesterday Dube presented his manifesto to the media at his posh Old Alexandra Park house, promising a better run Zifa if re-elected. 

“Towards the end of our tenure we had some companies showing interest to come,” he said.

“We had already started getting sponsorship. The Asiagate (match-fixing scandal unearthed by his administration) actually brought confidence within the corporate world because it was about transparency.”

He said he would build a hotel and venture into farming to help raise funds for Zifa, adding that his tainted image from Salarygate had done little to dwindle his chances of winning tomorrow’s election.

Dube dismissed allegations of vote-buying as “malicious, mischievous and nonsensical.”

Before addressing journalists yesterday, Dube had failed to attend a Parliament session earlier in the day after the Parliamentary Committee on Sports, Arts and Culture summoned him alongside the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) to answer allegations of electoral irregularities.

Dube is said to have written to Parliament explaining his non-compliance, saying he was busy with the election campaign. 

SRC director-general Charles Nhemachena, however, warned the Temba Mliswa-chaired committee that the country risked drawing the ire of world football governing body Fifa if government interfered with tomorrow’s elections.

Nhemachena, who was giving oral evidence before the august house, told legislators that his organisation is powerless in the management of Zifa affairs.

“We don’t have direct control over Zifa as they report to Fifa,” said Nhemachena.

“There are international statutes from Fifa that stop us from interfering in Zifa otherwise we face the consequences of being suspended or banned by Fifa.

“This situation is not peculiar to us alone as other countries like Kenya, Nigeria and Cameroon, who  wanted  to interfere with the running  of their football associations, were nearly suspended by Fifa and we don’t want to face that kind of  action.”

A livid Mliswa retorted: “You are of no help to us here. You are telling us you have no control over Zifa yet that is the most popular association in the country. With all these stories leading to the elections, we thought you will help us understand what is happening leading to the elections, since SRC is the mother body.”

Nhemachena however said the SRC was “concerned with the way Zifa was being run” and the electoral process itself.

“We recommended to Zifa to reduce the nomination fee for the Zifa presidency election from $10 00 to 1 000, but the Zifa executive pegged it at $5 000 and we are concerned with reports of vote buying ahead of the elections this weekend,” he said.

Meanwhile, outgoing Zifa board member for marketing, Nigel Munyati, who is vying for the presidency against Dube, Trevor Carelse-Juul and Leslie Gwindi, yesterday tore into his opponents, saying:

Surprise candidate, Trevor Carelse-Juul, has meanwhile lamented Zifa’s failure to avail the voters’ role before tomorrow’s poll.

“48 hours before the elections we still don’t have the voter’s roll, I don’t know if the other candidates have it but I certainly don’t have it,” Carelse-Juul told the Daily News yesterday.

“We understand there are 58 voters but till today there has been nothing on who they are. I’d like to believe the incumbent has it but certainly not me. It’s shameful.”

Carelse-Juul, a short-lived Zifa boss two decades ago, stormed the association’s headquarters on Livingstone Avenue yesterday demanding a copy of the electoral roll.

“I decided to go to Zifa headquarters at 53 Livingstone today (yesterday).  I was saddened. Nothing has improved for the past 21 years that I have been away, nothing to show that this is the headquarters of Zimbabwean football,” he said.

“Besides the receptionists, I was met with unfriendliness.  I budged into a meeting of which I apologised.  I asked for the voters roll and I was told it wasn’t there. Isn’t this the Zimbabwe Football Association headquarters?  Isn’t the election committee housed here?

“So how do we know that the voters’ roll has not been tempered with? We are being disenfranchised.

“This is an example of how football is being run in the country. Nothing on what Zifa is all about, nowhere to find any records.

“These are the things I will change when I assume office. Zifa will be electronic. Everything will be on the internet and anyone across the country will know what is going on.”

The wealthy property developer, whose company is currently constructing a $2, 5 billion worth city in the oil rich Rivers State region of Nigeria, added:

“I was in Bulawayo on Tuesday and the first thing I did was go to the Zifa offices there. The deterioration of facilities is just shameful.

“There is no picture of the Zimbabwe football jersey, no picture of past players, no trophies displayed; only a picture of the incumbent Cuthbert Dube, I couldn’t believe it.”

Carelse-Juul, who guided Dynamos to the league title in 1983 as a 26 year-old said coach, was however confidence of victory tomorrow.

“My campaign team and I have been talking to the people who have been kind enough to listen. Even the die-hard fans of the incumbent cannot accept failure any longer.”

Comments (3)

good luck to JUUL, U hav brains and vision to change the zim football.

lloyd munguma - 28 March 2014

Baba ava vanonzi Cuthbert Dube dzirimo dzese here? Takarasima nekuda kutonga chete. Kana nyadzi nezvavakaita kuPsmas. Bhora riye razofa manje. Achingodzoka chete ini yangu mari Zifa havatomboibati futi

Inizvangu - 28 March 2014

Carelse - Juul is a BIG NNOOOO. He destroyed Zifa in his previous tenure as Zifa Chairman. He is worse than Cuthbert Dube

Kevin Mwazvita Saungweme - 28 March 2014

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