AS the plot thickens at Zifa, former chairman Leo Mugabe and acting chairman Vincent Pamire have forged an alliance aimed at helping each of them to realise his ambitions, t
his paper has established.
The scheme includes the convincing of Education, Sports and Culture minister Aeneas Chigwedere to change his stance regarding Pamire’s candidature as substantive Zifa head.
Chigwedere is believed to be aligned to a faction in the power struggle that appointed Charles Westerfall as acting Zifa chairman at a meeting held in Harare in August. The Harare meeting was followed two weeks later by another one in Bulawayo, convened by the Pamire faction which rejected Westerfall and retained Pamire.
Mugabe, Pamire and Ndumiso Gumede, the Zifa director of administration, were spotted at a private meeting in Harare on Wednesday plotting their strategy.
Mugabe is vying to retain a position on the Confederation of African Football (Caf) executive committee, which he lost two years ago. At that time, Mugabe came under a barrage of criticism over his leadership at Zifa which he eventually lost following a vote of no-confidence masterminded by his then vice chairman, Pamire.
Mugabe needs the endorsement of Zifa as well as its advocacy to land the Caf position in January next year. Zifa, under Pamire’s leadership has already nominated him but should now perform the huge task of campaigning for him. It is in the wake of that scenario that Mugabe has been seeking to mend bridges and broker a deal with his former foe, Pamire.
When contacted for comment yesterday, Gumede confirmed that they had met and held discussions.
“Your source saw me, Pamire and Leo having lunch. However, we didn’t discuss these issues in the manner you put it,” said Gumede.
“Leo only referred to recent articles as well as his candidature at Caf which we discussed just in passing.”
Pamire admitted to having met Mugabe on Wednesday while in the company of Gumede.
“If anything, me and Leo are related and we obviously meet freely and discuss,” said Pamire. “Yes Mugabe wanted to find out about my support for his bid at Caf and in any case, I have already nominated him. I don’t want to talk about next week’s elections or whether Mugabe has promised his support for me.”
When the IndependentSport arrived at the outlet, Mugabe had just left but Pamire and Gumede were still in discussion. Mugabe had left after about an hour of talks with Pamire and Gumede, a source said.
Mugabe was unavailable for comment yesterday.
Pamire will be contesting the Zifa chairmanship against Zifa Northern Region chairman Francis Zimunya and founding Premier Soccer League chairman, Morrison Sifelani next weekend.