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Zifa seeks govt support


ZIFA president Cuthbert Dube is set to meet with Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo in a bid to entice the government to provide land for the construction of the association’s office.

Kevin Mapasure

World football governing body Fifa has availed funds for the construction of a three-story facility, but Zifa has been struggling to secure suitable land around the central business district (CBD).

The proposal for Zifa to build their office complex at the Zifa Village in Mount Hampden, that has been shot down.

Zifa president Cuthbert Dube, who has stepped up efforts to mobilise support ahead of next year’s elections, said that he was confident the government would avail a piece of land to the cash-strapped body.

On Saturday Dube was guest of honour at the final match of the Seven Heroes football tournament in Selous also attended by Member of the House of Assembly for Chegutu West Dexter Nduna and Minister of Information and Communication Technology Webster Shamu.

Dube told reporters after the match that he was making consultations with government in a bid to secure land in Harare’s CBD.

“We have been doing a lot and now we want the construction of the Zifa office to begin, what has been holding us is that we have not managed to secure a suitable piece of land,” said Dube. “But I am confident we will get government support after the offer by Fifa to fund the project. I have already lined up a meeting with minister Chombo to make a formal request. We do not have money to buy land and we do not want to demolish the existing structure, Zifa House, which we will convert into out football museum.”

The Harare businessman expressed pleasure at the establishment of a sports ministry after he led a spirited campaign to implore government to establish a separate sports ministry.

Having been criticised for not attending football matches, Dube, who watched a full 90 minutes of the Seven Heroes final said his passion was grassroots development.

“I would rather go and watch grassroots football and see how we can develop younger players,” said Dube. “This is where it all starts, so it’s important that we lay a firm foundation. Fifa encourages us to invest in grassroots development and they have even given us some money for that. Our neighbours, Zambia, are doing well at top level because they have a strong grassroots development programme and we should follow suit, we seem to be neglecting that area.”

Dube said he would drum up support for incumbent provincial chairpersons ahead of their elections in January, but he would not assist board members this time on.

“We are trying to prop up our people in the provinces since their elections are on in January. But this time I will not make the mistake I made in 2010, no more hangers on, this time each man for himself. The question people ask when you seek re-election is what did you do in your time in office? So each person should convince the electorate through their work.”

Some board members in the current setup have been accused of sleeping on duty and could struggle to reclaim their posts.

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