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Elections on tomorrow

Staff Writer

THE serenity that seems to prevail at the Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) after many months of bickering will tomorrow undergo a stern test with the election of a subst

antive chairman.

The process is however, likely to be fraught with controversy and conflicts that have characterised the power struggles at Zifa since former chairman Leo Mugabe was ousted by a group led by vice chairman Vincent Pamire in January.

Pamire, with the backing of Information minister Jonathan Moyo and the state-controlled media, seeks the mandate of the Zifa council tomorrow to run the mother body on a substantive basis.

He squares up against Premier Soccer League (PSL) chair Rafiq Khan, Zifa Northern region chairman Francis Zi-munya, and founding PSL chairman Morrison Sifelani.

This week has been hectic for Zifa councillors as last minute campaigns for the top position dominated the scene. According to the assessment done by IndependentSport, Pamire’s chances are very slim because of his involvement in the rot that has been deep-seated at Zifa for the past three years, firstly as Mugabe’s deputy and later at the helm as acting head.

The Bulawayo-based businessman has however been using as his campaign strength, the claim that he deserves credit for having been at the helm of Zifa when the national soccer team qualified for the maiden African Cup of Nations finals.

“It is nonsense for Pamire to claim that he deserves credit for the Warriors’ success,” said a Zifa councillor this week. “His blunders, which are there for all to see, far outweigh whatever he claims to be success under his leadership. There is consensus that we should use the opportunity tomorrow to bring a new broom at Zifa.”

It is the same predicament – of a tainted image – that might be the undoing of Zimunya, who has also been on the Zifa board. There are also allegations that he has been involved in unprocedural players’ transfers.

The veteran soccer administrator however has a formidable campaign platform with the unequalled success realised in the Northern region under his leadership in terms of attracting sponsorship.

He has a four-year plan for Zifa, which he says would turn the association into a commercially-viable entity.

Khan, riding on the strength of his PSL constituency, which is likely to virtually rally behind him, is regarded by some councillors as too soft.

“Khan is too soft for the rigours that are associated with the Zifa chairmanship,” said a Zifa councillor. He is not very bold and given the prevailing situation whereby there is a lot of controversy even in government circles over Zifa, he wouldn’t be equal to the task.”

Sifelani possesses the astuteness that is required for the thick and thin at Zifa and has demonstrated that during his reign at the PSL and Dynamos. The need for a completely new broom at Zifa might also work in his favour.

He however could be prejudiced by the allegations of insolvency levelled against him, which even until this week were a subject for debate among Zifa councillors. The nomination body however endorsed the outspoken soccer administrator to run for the chairmanship.

The stakes would be low in the contest for the vice chairmanship, where former PSL chairman, Wellington Nyatanga is tipped to pip Gladmore Muzambi, Lyton Majada, Wyatt Mpofu and Rodger Muhlwa to the position.

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