HomeOpinion & AnalysisColumnistsWhy Cuthbert Dube will not resign

Why Cuthbert Dube will not resign

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It’s not every day that I write about sport, but the painful events at the 11 de Novembro Stadium in Luanda, Angola, on Sunday left most Zimbabweans asking themselves soul-searching questions.

Report By Mernat Mafirakurewa

Inevitably in the wake of the shattered dreams, emotions are still running high for millions of loyal Warriors fans.

Sadly, as a country we seem to be hopping from one crisis to another. In the aftermath of the Luanda debacle, attention has already been inconspicuously shifted to Asiagate. Individuals from various quarters have called for the resignation of Zimbabwe Fooball Association (Zifa) boss Cuthbert Dube and his entire board as they are solely to blame for the failure by the Warriors to qualify for the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) football finals in 2013.

Stepping down is the way to go especially after letting down a highly expectant nation. In progressive countries, it was only proper for Dube and his lieutenants to resign en masse.

In fact, Dube and his board strongly believe they can still turn things around. Just to put things into perspective, honestly who would resign in a country where such culture does not exist?

Who would resign in a country where such people are labelled “spineless”? Who would let go in a country where at times people that come second-best are rewarded. Remember Big Brother!

Remember Nkosana Moyo, the former Industry and International Trade minister, who fell out with President Robert Mugabe after resigning in 2001. He was subsequently labelled “spineless” for not being “man enough”.

In that context, stepping down in Africa, let alone in Zimbabwe, is unheard of. To them, it is actually a sign of admission of failure. But yes, former Education minister Edmund Garwe resigned from his post after his child was implicated in an examination leakage scam, but later reportedly committed suicide.

The other who committed suicide in disgrace following the Willowgate scandal was former Senior Minister of Political Affairs Maurice Nyagumbo. Little did he know that his fellow comrades — Frederick Shava (then Transport minister), Calistus Ndlovu (then Industry minister) and others — would be rewarded heavily for their “exploits”.

So it would have come as a surprise if Dube had stepped down. Typical of most African leaders is that despite failure, they always think they still have something to offer, even when they are clueless and clutching at straws.

Just last month, Zimbabwe suffered a humiliating defeat at the T20 Cricket World Cup in Sri Lanka and, lo and behold, when fans were calling for head coach Allan Butcher’s head, nothing happened.

Still smarting from one of the most embarrassing defeats at such a global showcase, the cricket authorities were looking to the future, pleading for more time when fans had more questions than answers. So perhaps Dube becomes a non-issue.

In more than three decades of self-rule, I can hardly find at least 10 public officials who stepped aside to pave way for new blood. It has become clear that in Africa there are rulers, not leaders. The difference being that a leader guides and shows the way, while a ruler just instructs.

In Dube’s absence, Zifa is virtually non-existent, at least in his mind.

Remember the failure by the Under-20 national team to travel to Angola to fulfil an international assignment?

Education, Sport, Arts and Culture minister David Coltart aptly put it: “I am reluctant to blame the players who I think tried their hardest — some really put their all into it. We just need to sort out the administrative side of the game. Believe you me, I am doing everything within my limited powers to clean up the mess.

“The problem is fundamentally administrative, too much politics, abuse of office, corruption in football affects everything.”

Sadly in the wake of this national disaster, Dube is again seeing Asiagate shadows. Instead of shouldering the blame, Dube is looking for scapegoats in the form of hapless players branding them “mercenaries”.

In his wisdom and/or lack of it, each time we lose a game, players are to blame, but when they win matches, Zifa takes all the glory.

Defiant as Dube might be, it’s clear our national teams are going nowhere.

There are no scapegoats here, Dube as the head and appointing authority of football in this country, the buck stops with him. No more, no less. Ordinary Zimbabweans wait for the day when leaders will stop the blame game, but proffer solutions.

There is no doubt it will take time for a change in culture. The reality is that there is no other country we can support beside Zimbabwe, but doing so is now posing a serious health risk.

For views and comments email mmafirakurewa@newsday.co.zw follow me on twitter @mmafira

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