HomeLettersZifa polls: frontrunners’ battle-stained past

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IT is almost certain that the upcoming Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) presidential election will be a three-horse race between former PSL chairman Tapiwa Matangaidze, ex-Zifa board member Cuthbert Dube and former player Charlie Jones.

Former PSL secretary-general Leslie Gwindi is likely to be an underdog.

But the three frontrunners all have their work cut out.

This week’s revelation of the PSL’s alarming financial crisis may come as a massive blow to Matangaidze, who presided over it as the league’s boss until relinquishing the post to Caps United proprietor Twine Phiri last weekend.

Dube released an impressive manifesto last week but his previous stint on the board, under Rafik Khan’s chairmanship casts a shadow on his quest to land the biggest post in Zimbabwean football.

It’s not the first time Dube has tried to become the boss of Zimbabwean football. He contested the last elections in 2006, losing to incumbent Zifa boss Wellington Nyatanga.

While Matangaidze and Dube have a track record in running big organisations — the same cannot be said of the former Arcadia United and Caps United forward Jones. He still remains a top contender though.

But for Dube, while his term on the much-maligned Khan-led board could turn out to be his major undoing, it could well be his trump card.

“At (Zifa Division One) Eastern Region, I paid salaries for workers and rentals,” he claimed to IndependentSport this week. “At the Zifa offices I paid employees’ salaries from my pocket.”

In his manifesto, Dube’s motto is “Rebuilding Walls”, which refers, among other things, to his ambitious mission to relocate the Zifa headquarters from 53 Livingstone Avenue to a more “respectable” location.

“At the moment it looks like the bursars’ office,” he said.

Dube defended his position on the previous board saying: “I was not involved in corrupt activities during my time at Zifa. I did not receive any form of payment, even allowances.”

On his defeat to Nyatanga, he said: “I was cheated. The election was not fair. This time I will definitely win. I have the audience of business and government officials at the highest level because of my trustworthiness and good deliverance record.”

Meanwhile, Matangaidze was quick to exonerate himself from the shaky financial status of the PSL.

“The report was misplaced and mischievous as there was no analysis of the financial results by the compiler, the person should have gone to the treasurer to get the accurate financial position,” he said.

He said the deficit was also largely due to the prolonged off-season.

Against this background, it looks likely that it will come down to which of the three has the slighter blemish. — Staff Writers.

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