Chiyangwa says game is safe in his hands

HARARE - Zifa presidential aspirant and flamboyant businessman Philip Chiyangwa has made a passionate appeal to councillors and all other stakeholders to give him a chance in the race to succeed Cuthbert Dube at the helm of Zimbabwe’s national football association.

Here he speaks to Senior Assistant Editor Guthrie Munyuki and below are the excerpts of the interview.

Q: There is palpable fear that if you win the Zifa presidency, you will take back football to the medieval times, how do you feel about these deep-seated doubts about your suitability for the job?

A: There is nothing to fear about an impending Chiyangwa presidency of Zifa. Those who have hidden under the shadows of mediocrity and fleeced the game dry have everything to lose as we shall institute business sense into the game, by expunging legacy debt, bringing new corporate interest and funding, rewarding our coaches and players more competitively, promoting more grass-roots links to building credible national teams, gender-main-streaming and professionalising women’s soccer, creating a new lean, mean effective administration whose very operations are founded and anchored on benchmarked performance.

Football shall once again become a carpet of sporting dreams under which the tapestry of our diversity as a nation is woven and our pride as a people and nation is spread.

Q: Why do you think people doubt you as the right man to lead Zifa?

A: The people don’t doubt me to successfully lead Zifa but what you have manifested in those peddled and manufactured anxieties is a continuing fear of those who have disadvantaged the game by saddling it with weak and compromised leaders so that a few elites fish in troubled waters and continue to suckle and suck the life out of its continued downward spiral. The era of strong and effective leadership will come with the ascendancy of Philip Chiyangwa on the throne.

Q: Former footballers say one of their own should be Zifa president not you, how do you feel about this?

A: I can understand their sentiments. Yes, it’s romantic and attractive, but it’s founded on not understanding that football today is a big business.

It’s an enterprise where great talent is nurtured and rewarded.
Football administration is business and I have excelled in business and my lifetime of commitment to sports, arts and culture will only deepen the movement towards seeking a return from our unending investment in sports which by the way should be more financial than emotional. 

Q: You have had a colourful and perhaps expensive campaign for the presidency, does this mean you will have the same zeal for solving the many problems in football, or it is just a show meant for the television cameras and print media?

A: Chiyangwa is not just about drama, glamour, and razzmatazz but clear performance. I have a track record of getting things done, and I will demand more professionalism and results across the football fraternity.

Better prepared and supported coaches and players, only deserve to produce better results and the guaranteed lucrative compensation that should naturally come with it.

The media spotlight on me is because I have a continuing body of evidence of performance. No cameras, newsmen and lights were focused on me when I was vending vegetables in Chegutu as a hungry, handsome and ambitious youngster.

Q: Why has it taken you so many years to publicly show your passion for football which many critics say is artificial and driven by political interests, ahead of the Zanu PF conference?

A: There was just no reason to overly attract attention to myself in all my life-long endeavours and commitment to the sport.

I was happy to play a background role for as long as the football affairs of this great nation were in good hands.
The muddling and meddling of the last raft of incompetent administrators over the last few years have propelled me to seek the top mantle.

Never again shall I stand aside and watch when our collective sorrow is authored around unending football boobs.
There is no clear connection between football and politics other than that both arrest the collective attention and imagination of our people. Hatichada zvemadhisinyongoro munhabvu!!!(We no longer entertain disorder in football)

Q: Can you justify why Zimbabwe football could be safe in your hands?

A: Zimbabwe football needs safe hands, experienced hands and trained eyes for success and I bring such. I am a winner, and will bring that excellence and winning attitude in all football affairs.

Q: The late John Madzima, Job Kadengu, Nelson Chirwa, Trevor Carelse-Juul and Rafiq Khan were successful at Zifa; do you think you can turn around football and surpass achievements of these men?

A: These iconic men operated around different and trying times and variously rose to the occasion to meet the expectations of our respective sports-loving populace.
I admire them greatly and stand inspired by them, except for Trevor Carelse-Juul and Rafiq Khan.

No, man, Carelse-Juul was sacked by the SRC (Sports and Recreation Commission). Rafiq Khan met the same fate. These were not successful, they failed.

But then times have changed and so has football.
It’s more of a big business now than just an expanded template of sporting indulgence of old.

The game has money and is played for big money and you need someone like myself with proven entrepreneurial ennui’ to unpack the opportunities, rise to the challenge and deliver success for this generation long used to losing and bungling. Things must change and I am the change the game demands.

Q: What sort of values will you bring to Zifa considering that there are many who doubt you embrace good corporate governance practices?

A: I shall bring the values of sound administration, calculated risk taking and an unyielding drive to produce great results even in the face of trials and tribulations.

Good governance has been the hallmark of my success story. If there was no control and accountability certainly the story of Philip Chiyangwa would have suffered a stillbirth at the vegetable marketplace.

I not only embrace good corporate governance but in more ways than one my life has been around demanding it.
As a pioneer in the push for black empowerment the burning desire was for the owners of monopoly capital to answer to the ethical calls of inclusion in a market place that demanded transparency, equity, and inclusiveness in the way that business was run and not just good and services. I am Mr. Good Corporate Governance!

Q: What would be your immediate task at Zifa if you win the elections?

A: My immediate task would be to bring everyone to the table. Together we shall do more and better.
I will crack the whip against the ruinous culture of mediocrity, blame shifting, and leadership bluffing.

For too long, we have been divided as a football family by things so trite, while things that are just right where left unattended.

I am for clear strategies. Transparency and effective administration will win us more sponsors and more fans the combination of which is the Mojo the sport has been missing.

Q: From your campaign it is evident you have money, how much money do you think will help unlock to re-develop Zimbabwean football?

A: I will put as much money as it takes for as long as it’s not investing in a bottomless pit.

Football is an avenue to give back to a sport I have so loved, communities that have helped my businesses grow and a nation that has allowed black people to express themselves effectively as successful entrepreneurs.

Football is a great theatre of our dreams, but more than just that — a whole altar of our care and connection to each other. We live and die on the success of those things we hold dear, like football. It’s another way to render some national service.
Q: What’s your debt strategy for Zifa and how will you return the association to profitability?

A: As I said before soccer is big business, and business success is mostly run around exploiting and managing relationships.

I will bring my relationships, networks, and track record in executing things to recapture the glories of old and even exceed them.

Transparency and effective administration naturally brings more support, but all told nothing brings out the results we desire than success on the football field.

Professionalising our football means creating a new set of expectations of excellence — hiring the best people and paying them fairly and as contractually agreed.

Q: How will you use your Tsuro magen’a skills to lure sponsorship?

A: Inga munondiziva wani (You all know me). Ndinonzi (I am) Dr Phil Chiyangwa, and with Blah Fidza nothing is left to chance in terms of success.

I am a legendary business icon, and an even more effective fundraiser. I pray and trust that Zimbabwe shall vest me with the sacred trust to make them smile again.

Comments (8)

Vana Chiyangwa. Game rakabove safe in the hands of dealers nderipi ! You are men of little brains who who think Zimbabwe revolves around Harare in Mash Central. You do not in any way qualify to for the broad persipective that Zimbabwe stretches from Zambezi to Limpopo, Beitbridge3 to Chirundu. Kana wakaita mari yako nokuromba keep it to yourself because those you robbed are now awaken - and they will demand their money back

Masamba Akareyo - Tanganda - 9 November 2015

Chiyangwa knows absolutely nothing about football.Musoro hamuna chirimo muya. Munhu kuvharwa ne ma abbreviations ae fifa,zifa,cosafa e.t.c.The problem with that guy is that he talks too much.Yep yep yep.Musoro hamuna chirimo.

tatenda - 10 November 2015

ngatimbomupai chance tione.tinogona kusvora mbodza neino zvimbira veduwee

gringo - 10 November 2015

Inga mareporter muchadya navo bla phidza.

meso meso - 10 November 2015

Panoti Phidza for ZIFA president ndizvooo.Zvekuziva maabbreviations ekuti fifa,zifa,cosafa hazvina basa.Makadii kumubvunza zveku Finance hamuna chamuno keta.

stephen - 12 November 2015

If he has the passion to take our game to the next level, I see no problem. Lets give him the chance. Kana akundika tomubvisa futi. If we can enstool him wecan also destool him.

Fungayi Tiyenga - 13 November 2015

all what this man said is not someone who wants to be voted into office he has promised wonders which l see as empty.with this man in office zifa risks falling apart.

shasha - 13 November 2015

bla pfidza ndizvo

innocent makoni - 20 November 2015

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