Without action, there’s no change

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Phillip Chiyangwa

WHEN you look at the boardroom chaos in Zimbabwean football at the moment, it gives us an opportunity to have a frank talk about the Zifa elections that probably could never be, an episode that has descended into a farce too big to turn a blind eye to.

By Enock Muchinjo

Let us get straight to the point: Zifa president Phillip Chiyangwa has come under heavy attack in recent weeks, accused of dreading elections so much that he has resorted to dirty tricks to bar sole challenger Felton Kamambo from the December 1 board elections.

It would seem that way, when one examines the background.

If indeed he was confident of winning, why would Chiyangwa — by “conspiring” to hold an election in which he is the only candidate — risk a serious dent on his legitimacy, especially at a time when his star appears to be rising in African football leadership and he seems to have the ear of the most powerful men (or man) in world football?
I will be the first to accept, to those that follow the very interesting lifestyle of Chiyangwa, that this is a most irrelevant question to ask — for ethics and refinement are clearly not the man’s forte.

But playing the devil’s advocate, as I’m attempting to do here, could help unpack the goings-on with the Zifa elections and hopefully solve the great mystery. The devil, as they say, is in the detail.

So now, you might ask, and rightly so — and here I am not looking at the merits of his disqualification from the race — was Kamambo the best possible man in the first place to challenge Chiyangwa and possibly defeat him at the election on December 1?

I am sure there are those better positioned than me to properly answer that question and many of them, I can be sure again, will tell us that Kamambo stood a very good chance to defeat Chiyangwa at the vote next month.
And let us assume that Kamambo, indeed, stood a chance.

But then, again, had those that are so desperate to see Chiyangwa’s back already forgotten about a three-year ban imposed on Kamambo only six months ago?

Surely, the same people who fervently accuse the Zifa boss of all sorts of issues —manipulation, dirty tricks and what-have-you — put all their eggs in one basket until the last night of nomination, knowing too well that their preferred candidate, the sole challenger, could “legally” be stopped outside the election by the man he now wants to unseat?

This certainly is not how you take on a man that you accuse of being so sly and manipulative: it is incredible how the anti-Chiyangwa camp failed to see this one coming.
And if Chiyangwa is really bad for Zimbabwean football, where are the good people and why was a fellow with a ban hanging over him the only one to go into the race?

If you are one of those that want good sense to finally prevail before December 1, or have hope in ethics, the rule of law and court appeals — I am with you on that one.

But the reason we have this thorny issue in front of us is because we had people standing around, yakking about how horrible a leader someone is, yet doing nothing and waiting for a miracle.

If you are just sitting there, and hoping for a miracle, or hoping that people will voluntarily vacate positions on a national sports federation, I have news for you — they will not.

Reading what has been reported to be new sentiment swirling around the electoral college of Zifa, it seems that the only opportunity to unseat Chiyangwa was at the ballot, and the wonderful opportunity might be lost.

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