I'll help bring change: Musariri

HARARE - Joseph Musariri says he will fight against repeating the mistakes made by the previous Zifa administration if he is elected onto the new board in next month’s elections.

The chairman of the Beach Soccer Zimbabwe was a member of the Zifa Finance Committee where he came face-to-face with the association’s gross maladministration practices.

Musariri quit the committee at the start of this year after being frustrated by Zifa CEO Jonathan Mashingaidze and ex-president Cuthbert Dube.

It is this harrowing experience of working under the Dube administration that has given Musariri the confidence that he can help turn around the game’s fortunes.

Zifa is weighed down by a $6 million debt which has resulted in the Warriors being banned from the 2018 Russia World Cup qualifiers.

Most of the association’s moveable property has been auctioned by the courts to pay creditors and former employees.

“Apart from my financial background and vast corporate business administration experience, one of my biggest strengths in this election is being a member of the current Zifa council and a former Finance Committee member,” said Musariri.

“I was part of the process that removed the previous administration and thus I carry the vision, wishes and aspirations of how the Zifa reform process should be undertaken.

“My familiarity with the system will come in very handy in order for the new board to achieve its mandate in the short two years that it will serve.    

“I also had the privilege of having been selected by council to be part of a small working group that worked with a consultant to produce the draft Zifa Strategic Plan in August 2014.

“Needless to say, this document remains a draft which was never work-shopped or deliberated on and adopted by council.

“The experience and insight into Zifa that I got in this process is extremely invaluable and I intend to make use of it if elected onto the new board.

“My previous efforts to bring reform were frustrated by the previous administration, resulting in my resignation from the Finance Committee out of frustration and my subsequent suspension by the board for attending a council meeting that made the first attempt to revoke the mandate of the failed administration.

“Fortunately, the suspension was eventually lifted when wise counsel prevailed.”

Musariri began his football career in 1984 as a player for lower league side Border Strikers.

From there, he moved into administration when he assumed the chairmanship of Elephant Hills Football Club between 1992 and 1994.

In 1998, Musariri was appointed to the Amazulu board by Bulawayo-based businessman Delma Lupepe and was part of the team that led Usuthu to league glory in 2003.

Away from football, Musariri, an accountant by profession, cut his teeth in the business world by establishing his own clearing and forwarding company.

At present, the 53-year-old sits on various boards, including the Business Council of Southern Africa (BCSA), Shipping and Forwarding Agents’ Association of Zimbabwe and the Federation of Clearing and Forwarding Associations of Sadc.

Due to his strong financial and business background, Musariri was roped into the Zifa Finance Committee in 2006 until 2010.

He returned to serve in the same committee in 2014 before falling out with Mashingaidze at the start of the year.

Musariri said: “The upcoming elections have offered me an opportunity to rejoin the Zifa administration at an appropriate level where I will be able to directly influence decisions.

“I am currently leading an industry organisation where I am responsible, as CEO, for such compliance and where external audits are done every year without fail. This is the track record that I want to bring to Zifa.

“In order to clean up the association, a forensic audit of the whole Zifa administration must be a priority for the new Board in order to identify any ills and take corrective action.

“Establishment of proper policies and procedures are essential in order to monitor and evaluate the goings on at Zifa.

“The association is a huge institution which cannot continue to be run in a ‘mafia’ style which has seen most of the activities and decisions being carried out on an ad-hoc and irrational basis.”

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