THE recently-elected Zifa board has to learn to cut its costs by curbing reckless expenditure in a bid to wipe out its crippling US$4 million debt, but current evidence is not encouraging in that regard.
Candid Comment with Kevin Mapasure
For an association struggling to clean up its image to attract corporate funding, Zifa should be doing a much better job in accounting for and spending the little that comes into its coffers.
In an economic environment where most companies and organisations are struggling for existence, nobody will put their money where it will be spent nonchalantly.
As has been the case, many a time in the last four years we are told Zifa president Cuthbert Dube had to delve into his personal assets to help out the association after they had failed to secure money to fund the visiting Tanzanian national football team’s hotel stay.
Again we are told Dube had to offer his house as collateral for the hotel to agree to accommodate the stranded Tanzanian delegation.
The bill for the hotel stay was US$26 000 for a three-day stay for a delegation of 25 members — which defies logic given Zifa is practically penniless.
Fifa demands a visiting team must be booked into at least a three-star hotel, but Zifa should have sought cheaper options which are readily available in Harare.
They could have saved around US$16 000 without flouting Fifa rules, an amount they could have paid from their gate-takings and wouldn’t be sitting on the US$26 000 liability, added to their already existing US$4 million debt.
If such deals are not informed by corrupt interests, then the level of incompetence, even by Zifa’s standards, is shocking.
The hotel which accommodated the Tanzanian team cost US$26 000 for three days yet the lodgings the Warriors used for three weeks cost just US$7 000.
On average Zifa would have paid about US$2 000 for bed and breakfast for a 25-member delegation, which would have multiplied to around US$6 000 for the three days.
Add two meals a day and the total would still have been no more than US$10 000, so why spend more?
It doesn’t look like Zifa have any special relationship with this hotel because Dube wouldn’t have had to attach his title deeds.
In any case, government could have intervened with a payment guarantee at a cheaper hotel which still meets Fifa’s required minimum standards.
As Zifa convene next week to come up with their strategic plan, rein in on expenditure must top the agenda, otherwise the meeting would be another hot air talk shop.