New Zifa leadership promises change

HARARE - The newly-elected Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) has promised to work together with all the relevant stakeholders in order to take the game forward.

Felton Kamambo is the new Zifa president after defeating Philip Chiyangwa during Sunday’s elections held at the end of the association’s Annual General Meeting (AGM).

Gift Banda comes in as the new vice president after overwhelmingly beating his predecessor Omega Sibanda.

Philemon Machana, Sugar Chagonda, Chamu Chiwanza and Brighton Malandule were all voted into the executive.

Banda and Kamambo all endured a tough campaign trail and at one time it appeared as if they would never be able to participate in the elections.

The duo had their nomination papers thrown out by the Electoral Committee on a number of frivolous charges.

They also failed to get any joys from the Zifa Appeals Committee which threw out their appeals on a number of technicalities.

But they persisted and took the matter to Fifa and were eventually granted a reprieve when they were allowed to run in the polls.

Despite all these troubles and hurdles, Banda feels it is not the time to be looking for any revenge as the executive committee needs to unite all the football stakeholders at the moment.      

“You know football is a calling. I don’t hold grudges against anyone. I believe it was their way of campaigning but we tried to be as professional as possible in my personal campaign and I think that’s what made me to be victorious,” Banda said. “But I take this victory in humility because we are at a juncture where our football needs unity, at a juncture where we need all stakeholders to come together so that we can do our things in a football way because football is a family sport that needs everyone and that must unite people.

“We are here at this juncture because we want people united. We let bygones be bygones because we don’t want to start digging graves. Everyone has an idea of what really happened leading to this election but, in football, after 90 minutes opponents shake hands.”

Kamambo also spoke of letting bygones be bygones in his acceptance speech.

“We need to do our best and transform the local game. We need to work really hard and achieve our goals in the next four years. 

“I have no hard feelings against anyone; the focus should be on developing our football,” he said.

“What has happened has happened but it’s now water under the bridge, what’s important is the future of our football. I have confidence in the team that has been selected today that we can deliver.”    

Chagonda is also equally looking forward to transforming local football by ensuring the critical players in the sector are all pulling in one direction.

“We need to engage all key stakeholders in football so that we can actually come up with a strategic plan that will be a navigation tool in terms of taking our football forward,” Chagonda said.

“The key issue is to introspect, to look at the image of Zifa right now. There are a number of things that we need to work on but what is essential is to come up with a strategic plan between now and 2023. This will define critical areas we need to pay attention to the manage the perceptions the public have.

“The strategic plan should not only be for those in the Zifa alone but we need to involve everyone so that we can have a shared vision.

“The fact that we have been elected means people have confidence in us and what we need to do now is to walk the talk to deliver on all critical things that we promised.

“I’m quite hopeful that the new board will deliver. We will put all our energy; invest our thinking so that we come up with key deliverables during our tenure. With the support of key stakeholders I’m sure we can improve the game of football in the country.

He added: “I’m a team player and also I have been involved in football before I joined the corporate world.

“You reckon ...I’m the secretary of Manica Diamonds FC which played in Division One for just one year and got promoted into the PSL.”

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