Hayatou must go, retire peacefully

JOHANNESBURG - In most elections, especially in Africa, losers have a tendency of always crying foul alleging all sorts of transgressions from voter buying to rigging the process.

Even in an election which is normally presided over by international observers and where there are irrefutable evidence of a winner and loser, you hardly have an incident free election.

It was hardly surprising then that only a few days ago, former Caf president Issa Hayatou who was sensationally defeated by new incumbent Ahmad of Madagascar has decided to come out of his shell to claim that the victors’ camp in March election had used money to buy the electorate.

Hayatou who left the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa with his tail firmly between his legs after boasting ahead of the vote that he was untouchable and had used the tired colonial language to base his argument for re-election, now wants to appeal to Fifa to intervene and annul that process.

This is absurd to say the least. For starters, Hayatou knows he is one of the most hated figures in African football.

His 29 years at helm of African football was littered with intimidation to anyone who dared challenge his rule.

He used flagrant cronyism to consolidate his power as the number one supremo of Africa’s biggest sport and used to humiliate anyone who dared to usurp his powers.

He would take unilateral decisions and then use his henchmen to rubberstamp his bigger agenda.

In Hayatou, Africa had a seasoned dictator who would use every excuse to hang on to power and that he did with great perfection.

Much as Africa was tired of this one man show, no one would dare open his mouth or risk being shunted into dustbin of irrelevance.

But enter our own Captain Fiasco, Philip Chiyangwa; the man being revered on the continent for changing the course of history.

And the outspoken football administrator was at it again this week during the Cosafa Castle Cup draw when he told Hayatou and any of those thinking of challenging the March election outcome that process would never be revisited.

Going on record even using some unprintable verbosity, Chiyangwa lashed out at Hayatou as an old man who had lost his marbles and who had been consigned to the history books.

“When you make such allegations, they must stand to test of the courts and one must have irrefutable evidence of what he is claiming,” Chiyangwa told the South African media.

“Otherwise he (Hayatou) is talking rubbish, he is talking b….t and must retire to Garoua to look after his grandchildren,” Chiyangwa charged as the media chuckled at the man’s brazenness.

The Cosafa president has spoken. Hayatou must not underscore the African leaders’ thinking that one must hang on to leadership position till death.

Leadership needs to change hands and bring in fresh ideas.

This notion of wanting to die on the throne has seen the country’s citizens suffer.

African leaders, including Hayatou must learn to move with the times and know that ‘‘kingdoms come and go’’.

While we thank Chiyangwa for what he has done for the continent, Hayatou must not have allowed this burden to go with him to the grave.

He must have voluntarily given up power and could have kept his legacy intact.

Now he will go down in history as one of the many dictators who had to be humiliated at the polls.

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