Is it really Cuthbert Dube's problem?

HARARE - I have a lot of respect for Germany and its people not because I have had the opportunity of furthering my journalism career there.

Where there is misunderstanding or disputes involving foreign groups, the Germans leave it to you to resolve the problems without ever involving themselves in the dispute.

The reason is that they fear being labelled for the wrong reasons given their tainted image because of the wrongs of Adolf Hitler.

The new generations have nothing to do with this but sadly history cannot be undone.

Germany remains part of the countries that are fighting terrorism and anti-Semitism, the new headaches and threat to co-existence between people of different religions across the globe.

Last month, as the world marked the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, there was renewed fear of attacks of the Jews following events in Europe and the Middle East.

Auschwitz was a concentration and extermination camp set up by the German Nazis which murdered and gassed 1 250 million people, mostly Jews.

The camp is located in the southern part of Poland, in Lesser Poland province.

While Germany is committed to fighting both terrorism and anti-Semitism, this is done in a manner that does not open old wounds given the historical background involving Auschwitz.

Certainly, the Germans have not taken a fatalistic approach to dealing with these issues yet they could have said what’s done cannot be undone we need to move on and not worry about history no matter how damaging and painful it is to all nationalities involved.

Here, in Zimbabwe, there is a growing trend among politicians, especially from Zanu PF, who display a disconcerting attitude towards serious issues affecting people.

They show disdain towards the same people who elected them into office while at the same time mutilate and violate democratic norms and principles guiding how they should be elected into office.

It is disturbing.

The recent reckless and not-so-well thought out statement to Parliament by Sports and Arts deputy minister Tabetha Kanengoni-Malinga regarding the dissolution of the Zifa board led by Cuthbert Dube serves to underline this.

The deputy minister does not care if Zimbabwe is banned by Fifa as long as Dube and his board are gone.

To her and the MPs who took turns to excoriate Dube for having destroyed football in Zimbabwe, the only solution is to invite sanctions from Fifa while at the same time ‘‘sorting’’ the mess through an illegal caretaker executive.

This is a fatalistic approach which tries to mask away the inadequacies of Kanengoni-Malinga who is riding on the back of a clearly well-choreographed attack on Dube and the rest of the Zifa board by some individuals implicated in match-fixing scandals involving the national team in Asia, now known as Asiagate.

Ousting Dube and his board would be a violation of Fifa’s statutes and automatically invites a ban on all football activities until the re-instatement of the deposed executive.

Certainly, very few people would want to have this ban especially those who support Dynamos and Highlanders, the two teams dominating league titles in Zimbabwe.

A ban would mean zero participation in African competitions for Zimbabwean teams both PSL and national.

It would also mean no funding for grassroots projects and international transfers of Zimbabweans playing football locally to any outside club interested in their services.

This is so because any Zifa executive that comes into office if Dube is removed illegally would not be recognised as legitimate by Fifa.

Kanengoni-Malinga and her boss Andrew Langa — have not done anything to justify why they should be taken seriously.

Dube is not the problem but part of the problem at Zifa!

The first thing that one would have hoped was government interest in clearing the Asiagate scandal in which prominent administrators, coaches, players and journalists, were named as having fixed matches involving the national team.

This is a big issue which needs government through its systems to instil confidence in our sports teams that match-fixing is not rampant and we can compete without influencing match results, whatever discipline is involved.

Part of the reason why current Fifa boss, Joseph Sepp Blatter — is facing serious challenges in his bid to extend his tenure stems from allegations of gross corruption and the scourge of match-fixing stalking football.

But here the match-fixing scandal has been treated as a Zifa ‘‘baby” with Langa and Kanengoni-Malinga seeing value in discarding Dube and his executive.

Even the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC), by its own admission, says firing Dube and his executive is not the solution.

The SRC admits Zifa has serious financial problems and indeed you cannot expect football development when you are hamstrung by such challenges.

Football is big business but that can only realise its full potential as a business when there is massive cash injection.

Africa’s football powerhouses rely on serious government funding to develop football from grassroots level because on their own they cannot raise the sums involved.

The Nigerian government injects funds into its sporting associations including the Super Eagles, its very own national soccer team.

This is why at times it invites the wrath of Fifa when it tries to dissolve its football executives because its argument would be failure is not an option, albeit premised on its commitment in funding the football association.

Here, I would have expected the same Kanengoni-Malinga to appraise the nation of progress her ministry has made in supporting all the 48 sporting associations we have in Zimbabwe, including Zifa.

Or at least telling the nation how her ministry is going to fine tune a sports policy that would make Zimbabwe competitive again.

It is not Zifa alone which has financial problems and that has failed to steer the Warriors to three successive Afcon finals.

Tennis Zimbabwe is struggling to bounce back into the Davis Cup, Basketball Union of Zimbabwe has teething problems and in 2013 failed to send its teams to Egypt because of financial problems.

The Amateur Athletics Association of Zimbabwe has its own grievances; boxing is teetering on the brink of collapse despite boasting of talent such as Charles Manyuchi whom Kanengoni-Malinga and Langa have embarrassingly failed to give deserving honour.

Zimbabwe Volleyball Association, despite having genuine talent, remains overlooked and struggles to participate in international tournaments while Hockey, which once brought an Olympic gold, also remains largely overlooked.

Zimbabwe has a representative on the International Olympics Committee  — Thomas Ganda aka Tommy Sithole — whose enduring talents and skills should be of benefit to this country.

He remains available but disengaged by the Sports ministry.

It is wrong for politicians then to target Zifa and its board for dissolution without addressing challenges bedevilling sports in the country.

Without a doubt, the actions of Kanengoni-Malinga, expose the weaknesses and inadequacies abound in her ministry.

The actions are a testament to the penchant for wilful violations of democratic processes which should be held sacrosanct given Zimbabwe’s standing in the eyes of the world.

No one would expect her to advocate for the ouster of a democratically-elected leadership especially when she sees everything wrong in alleging that President Robert Mugabe rigged the 2013 elections.

Mugabe was ‘‘democratically’’ elected and can only be removed by an election!

If then this applies to Mugabe’s re-election the same principle must apply to Dube who was re-elected.

So why try to bend the rules?

The law of precedence applies.

What is good for the goose must also be good for the gander.


Comments (8)

Answer to the headline is.... Lets see. Axe him and then see wat happens.

kitsi - 3 February 2015

"Football is big business but that can only realise its full potential as a business when there is massive cash injection." Ha! what a trivial matter. What do we as a country see as a major priority? Is soccer so vital to our people? How can you feed your children on soccer, can you clothe and medicate them with soccer? What sort of lessons can they learn from a bunch of men in satin shorts chasing a leather ball around a field in front of drunken abusive soccer hooligans? With the sort of mentality portrayed in this article, it is not surprising that many black Zimbabweans cannot spell or communicate well in English. I know that this comment will grate upon the nerves of the local soccer bunch, but it is time we, as a nation realised that soccer is not vitally important when set against our need for working street lights, cleared storm water drains, blood and medical supplies in our hospitals, education for our children, jobs for the unemployed and assistance for the elderly.

dr delicious - 3 February 2015

Mr reporter, I think all you have is a difference with the Deputy Minister and the rest of the MPs who supported her notion. You seem to be of the idea that funding is the problem, but who would pour money into an organisation whose financials are in a mess. Read the State Run Chronicle about the findings from a recent audit. It was highlighted that Norman Mapeza's debt/lawsuit of US$245,000.00 appears twice and a number of other grey areas. Have you ever heard that hove kana yave kuora inotangira kumusoro? Its Dube and Mashingaidze who must go. I partly agree with you that the removal of Dube by force may cause harm to clubs, but instead of suggesting a better solution you went on to attack the deputy minister and the parliamentarians. For me, at least she showed that she is concerned. I would think people should just get a way of putting Cashbert and / or Jonathan Mashingaidze behind bars, if truly they have mismanaged the funds coz theft/fraud is a crime. Which ever way someone has to go and leave our soccer.

jore - 3 February 2015

To be honest government has done very little in terms of sponsoring or making policies that promote sport. It is so embarrassing that a national team fails to fulfill a fixture cause lack of funds yet we have ministers who boastfully say they have money they amassed through corrupt means. Cuthbert Dube might have his own shortfalls but he did some sacrifices imagine putting your own private property as collateral to get funds from a bank to have a national to fulfill a fixture. Government must pour in money. The debts that are haunting ZIFA right now where never created by Dube but he inherited them when he came into office they started way back during the Leo Mugabe era. Ministry of Sports needs to be objective not to personalise issues.

sports in zim - 4 February 2015

i think your report is spot on. the fact that mr senior sports editor, the senior partner in the asiagate scandal is behind this' dube must go campaign ' speaks volumes abt the motif behind the campaign. the deputy minister risks being used in some pple's personal wars

chief mangwende - 4 February 2015

soccer under Dube has fallen to disgraceful pit, down the slope like the country itself so if we clamour for Mugabe to go so should Dube. He has messed our soccer it has nothing to do with politics.

maita - 4 February 2015

Check this Mr Writer and Editor o, quote from your article,''Auschwitz was a concentration and extermination camp set up by the German Nazis which murdered and gassed 1 250 million people, mostly Jews.'', unquote. 1 million means 1,000,000 ; 1,000 million means 1,000,000,000 so the number you wrote here is 1 250 million people which means 1, 250,000,000 (over one billion)?? Get your facts right before publishing, please. This topic about concentration camps is a very sensitive one so to write such errors is disrespect people, races and tribes that were affected. I am sure you meant to say on million two hundred and fifty thousand people!!! Correct me if I am wrong.

Garikayi - 4 February 2015

If your article is about Zimbabwean sports particularly fooball, why meander into Germany's history, Poland etc..Honestly I can't see the connection. You could have well written two different articles. Of course Germans have money and should pay Israel and Palestine quietly. Ko ZIFA yapinda papi?

selele - 4 February 2015

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