Mama Red Rose outlines vision

HARARE - Aspiring Zimbabwe National Women’s Soccer League (ZWSL) chairperson Barbra Chikosi says she presents the only credible option for the development of women’s football in the country if voted into office.

Popularly known as Mama Red Rose in the showbiz industry, where she has made a name for herself promoting musical shows, Chikosi will go up against the incumbent Rosemary Kanonge for the top post.

Chikosi, who has also maintained a leading role in the cut-throat hair salon business, says her decision to contest in the elections was inspired by her desire to see the empowerment of the girl child through sport.

“My desire is to see my fellow women strive in the game of football and the need to change their lives for the better,” Chikosi wrote in her manifesto.

For years women’s football appeared to have taken a downward trajectory with the national league a pale shadow of the good old days when Mavis Gumbo was still in charge.

Gumbo was replaced by Miriam Sibanda in 2015 but she could not operate freely after Zifa pressed a number of corruption and maladministration charges against her.

Sibanda was subsequently acquitted of any wrong doing by the Harare Magistrates’ Courts but it was at the league’s expense.

While Sibanda battled her legal woes, Kanonge came into power.

Although Kanonge tried to put structures in place, the struggles of the women’s game continued.

It is against this background that Chikosi has put her hand up to run for office.

“I’m aiming to lure partnerships to the league which will benefit the clubs especially the players,” she said.

“As soon as I get elected, we will have our own offices of Zimbabwe Women Soccer League. We will have a calendar of events for the league and we will draft a roadmap to run the league professionally.

“We must strive for fair play always. All finances will be deposited into the league account which includes affiliation fees, fines, and players’ licensing for accountability. Every season we will produce audited accounts of the league to avoid misappropriation of funds.

“We will have a forensic audit as soon as we get into office so that all clubs will get to know how funds were being used before we got into office.”

Chikosi also wants to see coaches, administrators as well as players being capacitated.

“Women football coaches should be given contracts. The league will develop coaches, team mangers and medics who will in future be promoted to the national teams. We will build exchange programmes to benefit players, coaches and administrators,” she said.

“All ZWSL teams will be expected to have their own junior policy as a requirement, which will play tournaments twice a year. All ZWSL teams will be required to get attached to Primary or High schools as way to develop vibrant junior policies. We will tighten the administration to check on powers of the executive and that they are mandated to do everything according to the league rules and football laws.”

Chikosi is the current chairperson of Cyclone Stars and was once appointed as a board member of Zimbabwe Football Trust during the tenure of the Cuthbert Dube era.

In 2016, she was appointed the board member finance for Women’s football a position she currently hold.

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