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‘Zifa debt still soaring’

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Zifa vice-president Ndumiso Gumede has said the national association’s crippling debt inherited from the Wellington Nyatanga administration is far from being fully settled.

Gumede said when the current regime assumed office in March last year, they were shown a document indicating a $600 000 debt by the outgoing Nyatanga board, but the amount keeps soaring each passing day.

This — Gumede told a Press conference in Gweru on Wednesday evening — was frustrating Zifa’s efforts to turn-around the financial fortunes of the association whose image was badly tainted by the Asiagate scandal.

Last week, a local company Lomagundi Travel and Tours approached Zifa claiming they were owed $60 000 and threatening to attach property at 53 Livingstone House.

“It is not a secret that Zifa is broke. We inherited a $600 000 debt on paper, but the amount is far from that. It is even higher because some companies are everyday demanding money owed to them by the previous board. We are nowhere near settling that debt,” said Gumede.

“I do not have the actual figures at hand, but you can ask Kasu (Elliot), Zifa board member (finance), he has all the figures. We are in trouble.”

In the doomed attempt to secure a place at next year’s Africa Cup of Nations, the Warriors were sometimes under threat of failing to fulfill foreign missions, but Zifa president Cuthbert Dube would bail them out at the eleventh hour using his personal funds.

“When Dube pays players from his own pocket, it is a debt to Zifa. It does not mean a problem has been paid off. He surrenders his house’s title deeds as collateral to secure a loan from the bank and if we fail to pay him back, he will lose his house,” Gumede said.

“Some associations in other countries survive on sponsorship, but here the corporate world will not come and assist Zifa until we fly with success. The government has told us in as much as they would want to help us, they are also strained. The Finance ministry has said they will not give us anything until we clean our image.”

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