Poor Jonah is gone!

JOHANNESBURG - They say two things which have a close relationship are football and politics.

It is no wonder why those in football don’t want politicians to be involved in the running of the game and vice-versa.

What is interesting though is that you cannot separate one from the other; somehow, the two are inter-linked.

While professional talk is that a civil servant serves the present government, in some way that is not true, especially when it involves the top management.

In Zimbabwean politics this might not make sense since the country has known a single president since its birth in 1980. Those in proper democracies know exactly what I am talking about.

A president in most cases, comes with his own people. No wonder those “eating” in Zimbabwe today will lick the name of President Robert Mugabe to the ends of the earth and are prepared to kill for him.

Not that he is doing the right thing by clinging on to power. A big NO! It is purely because they are enjoying the fruits of him being in control and the day he goes, all their benefits will disappear.

That was one of the major talks during the recent Fifa elections which ushered-in Gianni Infantino into power.

Those at the Fifa headquarters were worried big time after Sepp Blatter had quit and there was jostling of power from various quarters during the electioneering.

No one knew whether their future was safe or would be kicked out once a new president takes office.

I really am not sure what has since transpired but the harsh reality is the departure of Blatter and the coming in of Infantino resulted in major casualties. That is the life of changing of power.

The day Mugabe will depart from the office he has occupied for close to four decades, there will definitely be the gnashing of teeth in some areas but will also usher-in happiness in some corridors — hence they say kingdoms come and kingdoms go.

Which brings me to the subject of today! Having become part of the Zifa hierarchy for some considerable period of time, it was with shock that I learnt the  dismissal of one Jonathan Mashingaidze from the employ of the association.

With his tiny frame, Jonah was an epitome of humbleness and was a typical civil servant within the football circles.

But this is a very unforgiving environment. While you are a good friend of one individual, there are those who want your head dead or alive; this business is known as a dog-eat-dog industry.

Poor Jonah, he worked for years for Cuthbert Dube hardly getting a salary but his diligence earned him many friends as well as enemies.

When current president, Philip Chiyangwa took over, I feared the worst for him. But when days, weeks and months went by, I thought he had survived the most scaring moment of his life.

But alas, they say revenge is a dish best served cold. I didn’t see this coming.

Boom, like a bolt from the blue, on a sunny Tuesday afternoon, a Zifa board unanimously decided to show poor Jonah the door. How cruel!

Surely, this was not Chiyangwa’s wish but I suppose he was outvoted by his vindictive councillors.

In football, it is called purging; the old structure is systematically removed from power so that a new dispensation starts on a clean slate.

Yet it is not supposed to be always like that. At times, you need to retain certain brains as part of continuity and I honestly believe Jonathan was the brains Zifa needed to retain. But that is only my biased take, I suppose.

With the CEO gone, it brings huge uncertainty among other members of staff. But that is how this world works.

It is never fair but that is how it grinds to life. One life is taken away to feed a new one.

I have never been one who celebrates another losing his or her job but it will happen on this earth and while some will cry for their beloved one, others will be popping champagne for the fall of another.

There are those mourning the fall of Jonah but there are those with cold-hearts who are toasting to his demise.

They will also follow the same route because he who lives by the sword, dies by the sword!

Such is life!

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