Zifa presidential aspirant Leslie Gwindi yesterday officially launched his election campaign by unveiling a manifesto whose underlying theme is “do the right thing.”
BY Kevin Mapasure
Unlike the manifesto launched by one of his rivals Phillip Chiyangwa where the electorate was present, Gwindi went a different route inviting only the media.
He presented a 21-page document which he took time to explain its contents, also taking a dig at his rivals particularly Chiyangwa and Trevor Carelse-Juul.
He implored the candidates “to vote for football” this time, adding that it made no sense for Zimbabwean football to be led by “chancers”.
He said his manifesto was driven by what had happened in football in the last six years, during the Cuthbert Dube-led board’s reign.
“My underlying theme is do the right thing,” Gwindi said.
“I think whenever you fail to do the right thing, it will always catch up with you. In the last two elections, we failed to do the right thing and it caught up with us. So what I am telling the councillors is let us do things football now.”
Of importance to him is that Zifa should go back and relook at its constitution, particularly the composition of the Electoral Commission.
“Let us carry out electoral reforms. Is our constitution right and is the Electoral Commission properly constituted?”
His call for reforms resonates with the High Court application made by journalist Hope Chizuzu, who is demanding that reforms be effected before the elections.
After reforms, Gwindi believes the association can go on and invest in development, which he said was the core business of the organisation.
Gwindi said that there was need to establish the authority of the Zifa assembly as well as the creation of standing committees made up of the councillors to aid the developmental drive.
He said the committees would ensure accountability and curb the abuse of funds.
The former Harare City Football Club chairman said he had engaged councillors and is assured that he shares the same vision with them.
“The councillors are very clear, they know what they want and they accept that they made mistakes in the past. They want to do everything right this time and they understand where football must be taken. They must guard against absentee presidents and people that have not been into football before.
Millionaires must start their own clubs, that’s where they are useful. Delma Lupepe did it with AmaZulu and Twine Phiri did it with Caps and they were successful.”
Some of the key promises in his manifesto include the establishment of a well-coordinated junior football league, to make sure all of the association’s arms benefit from the Fifa grants, to come up with a development blueprint that will guide the future of programmes and projects as well as the re-engineering of the secretariat to align it with global corporate practices.
Gwindi pledged to restore good corporate governance as well as establish a financial model amenable to discipline and self-audit and the reintroduction of the Zifa Cup.
His plan of action and deliverables
To establish the integrity and credibility of the institution called Zifa through restoration of the sanctity of the constitution. To achieve this we will do the following within the initial 6 months
- Establish the members who constitute the association’s Electoral College
- Extensive review of the Zifa constitution with regards regulations, codes and other regulatory instruments
- Detail the conduct of both the aspiring candidates for Zifa positions and its members
- Ensure stringent instruments that enforce these, especially such committees as the vetting committees
Accountability in football is relational and every model we create has checks and balances to ensure we reconcile all our transactions in an open and honesty sphere to enable our partners to understand us as a brand worthy their trust and support.
Routine audits of our conduct offer viability and sustainability so we can attract sponsorship which the game lacks. Relying on individual benevolence is dangerous and devalues our brand.
Adherence to constitution: Guided by the Fifa statutes, respect of our own tenets is a sign of our strength of purpose and as president it is my unshakeable commitment to give the constitution my unwavering respect as that begets good principles of conduct.
Football is about rules and good governance is premised on unequivocal adherence to the letter of the law. Law punishes and promotes – the constitution is the cradle of good governance.
Football has clear operating policies which if followed to the letter begets development.
While recognising that Zimbabwe is a very dynamic environment open to market interpretations, the Zifa board under my presidency will clearly define set policies for operation, including but not limited to sponsorship policy.
Legal compliance will as a median framework of conduct benchmark our daily operations.
The policies will be managed by relevant committees to ensure effectiveness and identity.
It has become very clear that women’s football potentially can develop faster than men’s, but has been hampered by ad hoc programmes where we have reduced them to tournament football.
That negates development of national teams.
We need to play internationally consistently but that can only happen if we plan and invest in that venture by ensuring we finance the game well by channelling funds to women as well, something that has not been happening.
To establish a clear provincial and regional football structure that leads to a conveyor belt into the Premiership and national teams
Re-establish a robust relationship with primary and tertiary schools across the country and ensure financing and establishment of provincial and regional academies (to be detailed in the action plan)
Debt rescheduling Strategy
To reschedule the crippling Zifa debt that is in excess of $5,5 million through:
- Engagement of all creditors and stakeholders
- Presentation of the financial options to the assembly for verification
- Ensure detailed communication with the Sports ministry to ensure we are on the same page
*All to be commenced inside 3 months