Zifa election mess

HARARE - No matter who wins the race to be the Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) president today, the election will always be shrouded in controversy.

The incumbent, Cuthbert Dube, will be hoping to win a second term in office as he battles against his board member Nigel Munyati.

Harare City chairperson Leslie Gwindi is also vying for the top post at 53 Livingstone Avenue together with ex-Zifa boss Trevor David Carelse-Juul.

The run-up to the election has been characterised by allegations of vote-buying and flawed electoral process.

Although it is very difficult to prove exactly who paid who, some of the candidates believe that the voting college is heavily indebted to Dube.

Munyati claimed that the election was manipulated.

“There is no doubt that there is manipulation in the election process, where people get greased. Do I have evidence? No. But it’s such a big challenge that even people are saying to me if you don’t pay you are not gonna win votes. If I fail to win because I didn’t buy votes, at least I would have stood on a matter of principle,” he told the Daily News recently.

“I will not pay you to vote for me. But I will make you succeed in your constituencies of football where you come from. If you are not in it for the game, what are you there for? You would have betrayed. In this day and age, how can you be owned by another man? We need to get rid of this culture of patronage.”

But Dube, who was at the helm of a turbulent first term, is putting on a brave face despite all the bad publicity he has received since the start of the year due to his involvement in the widely-publicised Salarygate scandal.

“Towards the end of our tenure we had some companies showing interest to come,” Dube said during his manifesto launch on Thursday.

“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.”

Another controversy that has mired the election process is the exorbitant nomination fees candidates had to pay.

Charles Nhemachena, the director general of the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC), told Parliamentary portfolio committee on Sports, Arts and Culture on Thursday that they had failed to order Zifa to reduce the huge nomination fees.

“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.

The High Court was also sucked into the matter when board aspirant Saidi Sangula filed an urgent application seeking to stop the elections.

In his court papers, Sangula cited a number of irregularities in the election process.

Justice Francis Bere, who presided over the matter in his chambers, last Wednesday, ordered the election to go ahead, saying that Sangula’s application was not bona fide as he had waited until the 11th hour when the poll was almost complete.

Carelse-Juul, has lamented Zifa’s failure to avail the voters’ role before the election.

“Forty eight hours before the elections we still don’t have the voters’ roll, I don’t know if the other candidates have it but I certainly don’t have it,” Carelse-Juul told the Daily News on Friday.

“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.”

Those 58 people who are going to vote are going to be drawn from Zifa affiliates which include Area Zones (10), Provincial chairpersons (10) and women’s league (four).

The four regions are going to provide four delegates each to make a total of 16.

While the entire 16 Premier Soccer League clubs will have one vote each, the National Association of Primary School Heads and National Association os Secondary Heads will provide two delegates each.

For a candidate to win the election, they need to garner 50 percent plus one vote.

This means that one of the four candidates needs to get at least 30 votes to win the Zifa presidency.

If no one gets the required 50 percent plus one vote there will be a second round pitting the two candidates with highest votes.

Comments (1)

He knows the trick. He learnt the ropes from them. Elections will go ahead with or with no voters; role. Inga Mugabe arikungotonga wani asi voter's roll range risipo.

maita - 30 March 2014

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.