Zifa councillors' tough choice

HARARE – The Zifa Assembly will meet on Saturday to vote for the next president to replace Cuthbert Dube, who together and his entire board had their mandate revoked in October.
Below, the Daily News looks at the key points of all the four candidates vying to be the next Zifa president.

James Takavada

James Takavada believes he is the right man for the Zifa presidency due to the fact he has been through the ropes as a player, coach and administrator.

The former Ziscosteel stalwart, who was voted the Soccer Star of the Year in 1984, coached various Premiership sides and was an assistant Warriors coach in the late 90s.

“Throughout my career, I have worked at all levels of the game. This has given me an insight and understanding that I feel can enhance the future of football,” he says in his manifesto.

Takavada attributes the game’s demise to the fact that former footballers have been sidelined from administering football and wants a change.

It is his belief that if the game is restored to the care of ex-footballers then most of the shortcomings will be eliminated.

Takavada says he will prioritise grassroots and development structures so that the country can produce more technically sound and talented footballers for the various national teams.

“I am not saying businesspeople should not come into football, not necessarily that. I am saying there are people who are coming from outside football basically with the notion that they have business acumen to bring to football. One thing that we forgot is that there is professionalism that is needed.”

He says his presidency will be all-encompassing by involving all stakeholders in the decision-making process unlike the previous regime under Cuthbert Dube.

Trevor Carelse-Juul

Trevor Carelse-Juul believes Zifa is in its current mess because the previous leadership failed to tap into and explore all the available revenue streams.

The South Africa-based businessman, who was Zifa interim chairperson in the 90s, said: “Why are we having this debt? Everyone is focussing on how they are going to get rid of the debt. My position is how I am going to create a revenue stream so that we don’t have the debt in the future.”

As the brains behind the iconic Dream Team in the 90s, Juul is convinced he can create another generation of national team players, who will illuminate the National Sports Stadium and bring back the dwindling crowds.

With fans filling up the stadia again, Juul is convinced local football’s cash flow problems will be solved.

Sponsors will also flock back to the game since it will be attracting large numbers as in the Dream Team era.

“We went to a football match at Lafarge and even in Bulawayo, we went to watch football matches; the stadia are empty. CAPS United playing at the National Sports Stadium and it’s empty, for goodness sake. You remember our days of the Dream Team, was there ever any empty stadium, even half full?”

An architect by profession, Juul has established vast connections in Africa and Europe. He intends to use his network to help forge partnerships for Zifa with regional and international stakeholders. 

Philip Chiyangwa

Let's face it; Philip Chiyangwa has been Chiyangwa during his campaign to be the next Zifa president.

The Harare businessman has been running an ambitious campaign thus far with supplements and advertorials running in print and electronic media.

His manifesto is simply titled: “Rebuild, Restore, and Reposition”, which pledges to restore the glory days back in local football.

Portraying himself as the biblical Nehemiah, Chiyangwa says he is a man of action and will turn around the fortunes of the local game.

“I want tonight to be remembered for what I am going to do for Zimbabwean football.

“Like Nehemiah, I am a man of action! There are many reasons why I decided to run for Zifa president, chief among them my long-cherished dream to lead Zimbabwean football,” said Chiyangwa.

The businessman has even suggested taking drastic measures like changing Zifa’s name in order to attract sponsors disenchanted with the local game.

He says he will build a new Zifa brand that has value and the trust of the corporate world.

Chiyangwa promises to do all this transformation in two years’ time since he is not seeking a second term in 2018. 

Leslie Gwindi

Leslie Gwindi will be hoping that on Saturday it will be third time lucky after having ran against Cuthbert Dube in 2010 and 2014; losing on both occasions.

The former Dynamos and Harare City chairperson is running a campaign centred on the theme: “Do the right thing”. 

Gwindi wants football to embark on expansive reforms from the top down to the area zones throughout the country.

His promise to the councillors and the nation is that constitutional reforms are urgently needed so that Zifa operates under a “dynamic and recurrent” constitution.

“Time and again, if you ask me what constitution is being used now I’m at a loss. The document; the constitution of the Zimbabwe Football Association is a confidential document”.

With these reforms in place, Gwindi believes all of local football’s ills and problems will be solved.

Gwindi’s argument is that once Zifa is a constitution-obeying organisation, its integrity and credibility will be restored which will give a lot of confidence to the corporate world.

“Very briefly and very directly; the issue of integrity is very key. We have constitutional reforms that have to be carried out,” Gwindi said.

“We aim to be an extremely compliant organisation and that has to be realised. We need to be looking at issues that have to do with the debt.”

Comments (2)

If any of you is voted in, please dont disappoint the supporters. People wear Bafana Bafana jerseys. Why? Because the administrators have destroyed the game.

David Dete - 4 December 2015

these councillors are after money ,they don't have soccer at heart. next time all soccer loving people should allowed to vote. membership cards should be sold in their home town at a reasonable price country ward. that card and receipt would be my voting ticket. thats the only way we can reduce this corrupt activities by these people.

Tapera Sibanda - 9 December 2015

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