ZIMBABWE Football Association (Zifa) chief executive officer Henrietta Rushwaya was yesterday said to be on the tenterhooks, unsure whether or not she
would win the ticket to represent Zanu PF in next month’s parliamentary elections.
The ruling party gave the 38-year-old Rushwaya a second bite of the cherry by allowing her to contest in Gutu South although she had been defeated in another constituency in last week’s primary polls.
However, the primary election in Gutu South failed to take place this week after a polling agent said to be representing incumbent legislator Shuvai Mahofa — who had initially been declared unopposed in the constituency — allegedly fled with ballot papers.
Sources yesterday claimed traditional chiefs from the constituency had sought audience with President Robert Mugabe to influence the endorsement of Rushwaya as Zanu PF’s candidate in Gutu South.
Rushwaya could not be reached for comment on the latest developments yesterday, but the sources said she was in a quandary because the nomination court for the synchronised presidential and parliamentary elections sits today.
Earlier this week, Rushwaya had indicated she would quit her Zifa post if she were to represent Zanu PF and win in the March 29 polls.
“Once you become a parliamentarian, you have to serve the people,” she told IndependentSport. “So if I represent Zanu PF and win on March 29, I would immediately leave Zifa.”
Rushwaya claimed her political ambitions were not hampering her duties at the football association. “Politics is for the weekends and there is no way it has affected my work at Zifa.”
If Rushwaya’s candidacy were to be endorsed yesterday, it would mark another chapter in her controversy-ridden public life.
There are suspicions that Rushwaya’s ascendancy in football administration had largely been manipulated by senior Zanu PF politicians. Rushwaya is said to have close links with Vice-President Joseph Msika who sources believe could have influenced her involvement in the ruling party’s primary polls.