‘Development, finance key’

WHILE focus will be on the big post of the Zifa presidency in tomorrow’s elections, it is the other positions on the board where sharper swords have been drawn.

All elected members of the Zifa board hold special responsibilities such as finance, marketing and development.

Under the outgoing board these three facets of the game have been rendered dysfunctional with the association’s accounts in disarray, sponsors leaving in droves due to a poor marketing strategy and the development arm lacking a sound policy of integration from junior to professional football.

This week, three candidates vying to these special positions on the board spoke to IndependentSport of their vision to turn around Zimbabwean football.

Former Dynamos Football Club vice-chairman Simon Makaza, who is aspiring for the position of board member (marketing), said failure to synergise football and business was Zifa’s Achilles heel.

Makaza, currently marketing director of four companies, will battle it out with five other candidates for the post.

“If elected I would want to use my extensive experience, business and social connections to develop Zimbabwean football in several areas critical to the game,” said Makaza.

“I see the critical areas as junior football, national teams, transparency in team selection, improved player welfare, improved player remuneration, introduction of medic aid scheme, gym facilities for players, talent identification structures and strategies, and good corporate governance. Football is my passion having spent almost 20 years in the game at club and national level.”

Joseph Musariri, a Harare chartered accountant contesting the board member (finance) portfolio, acknowledged in his manifesto that Zifa’s financial status was in shambles.

“Every position on the Zifa board is critical for the success of our football,” said Musariri. “The attributes and expectations of the finance portfolio are, however, more far reaching in terms of accountability, transparency, professionalism and general observance of good corporate governance principles. I am sure all candidates are promising to deliver in all these aspects. But it is not good enough for us just to promise. My commitment is to walk the talk. This manifesto, together with the new direction that the Zifa board will set in support of the association’s vision will be my guiding bible in the work that I promise to perform for the soccer-loving people of this country.”

Former PSL secretary-general Mwandibhuya Mutepfa, the incumbent board member for development, is bidding to retain his post.

“I was spearheading the establishment of partnerships with Football Associations in Europe and other associations who are well established in their football system,” he said. “This would also assist among other things the following: provisional of seed equipment, training of human resources, maintenance of facilities, hosting of youth tournaments, sponsorship of women leagues, provision of project equipment and exchange of volunteers.”

Ashley Marimo

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