Blatter congratulates Cuthbert Dube

HARARE - Sepp Blatter, the president of the world football governing body, Fifa has congratulated newly re-elected Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) president, Cuthbert Dube.

Dube won the contentious poll to lead Zifa for a second term after beating the challenge of former Zifa chairman Trevor David Carelse-Juul by 44-14 in a run-off last month.

In the initial poll, Dube had garnered 34 votes followed by Juul with 14 while Leslie Gwindi got 10 votes and fourth candidate Nigel Munyati failed to get even a single vote.

Omega Sibanda was voted Zifa vice-president after he edged Elkana Dube 38-20 during the same elections while the quartet of Bernard Gwarada, John Phiri, Fungai Chihuri and Tavengwa Hara were also voted to be Zifa board members.

Blatter’s message comes at a time when there are consorted efforts to try and discredit the elections by a number of local people.

"It is a vote of confidence in your abilities from the football community of Zimbabwe and we look forward to our continued friendship, and excellent co-operation in improving our good governance," Blatter said in letter sent to Dube earlier this month.

The Fifa representative sent to observe the elections, Ashford Mamelodi, who is the Southern Africa development head, acknowledged that the polls held at Zifa Village were free and fair.

“The election went well, absolutely well. The electoral board did a sterling job and they really need to be congratulated for that. We at Fifa are very happy that the new Zifa board has been properly elected in terms of the statutes and we stand ready support that,” Mamelodi said before leaving the country.

“We really just appealing even on the government side that they should continue to support football not just in terms of financial resources but even in terms of how they relate with it.” 

Dube has also been re-appointed to the Fifa’s standing committees while the football governing body has also allocated a $500 000 grant for Zifa to contract a new headquarters.

On the other hand, the Confederation of African Football (Caf) president Issa Hayatou  also gave his thumbs up to Dube’s administration.

"Caf is confident that your experience, know-how and leadership will continue to benefit football in Zimbabwe," the Cameroonian said in his congratulatory message to the re-elected Dube.

"We wish you... successful tenure in your position and rest assured that you can count on the support of the Confederation to develop football in your."

The Confederation of Southern African Football Association (Cosafa) chief operating officer, Sue Destombes also expressed confidence in the new Zifa board.

Cosafa said: "The past term of office has not been easy, but hopefully with the continuation of the president for another term, football in Zimbabwe will turn the corner."

Earlier this week, the Zimbabwe government through, the Andrew Langa, the minister of Sports, Arts and Culture endorsed Dube's re-election and outlined a roadmap, which the new board must roll out.

Dube’s re-election had attracted mixed feelings amongst Zimbabweans with some feeling that the ex-PSMAS CEO should have stepped aside after his involvement in the Salarygate scandal.

Information Minister, Jonathan Moyo earlier said: “It is obvious to anyone who cares to examine the situation, and this should be particularly self-evident to the limited Zifa electorate that voted over the weekend, that the leadership that was returned had nothing to show for its performance and nothing different, new or better to offer.”

Despite all this condemnation, it appears that Dube has received support from the relevant offices matter in the game.

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