FORMER Zifa vice-president, Omega Sibanda believes he still has unfinished business to take care of at the national association, claiming he was alienated in his previous tenure.
BY SAKHELENI NXUMALO
Sibanda was elected to the Zifa board in March 2014, only to be suspended from office 15 months later, following a purge targeted at those that had been identified as ringleaders in an attempt to remove then Zifa president, Cuthbert Dube.
“The truth is that I never worked. I never got to do what I know best for football because the system was not allowing. It (system) was not permitting me to execute my duties that I was mandated by the councilors,” he said.
Sibanda said he noticed there were constitutional breaches at Zifa during his first board meeting and attempts to correct that led to friction within the board.
“We have a constitution at Zifa, but it is a flawed constitution and when I noticed that, I raised a red flag and because of that, I became very unpopular. I was also ostracised for querying the Zifa debt and as a result, other board members, who did not want to hear anything wrong about Zifa, came up with the plot to suspend myself, Miriam (Sibanda) and (Ben) Gwarada. We differed on opinion and we were labelled enemies,” he said.
The Bulawayo businessman said because of the bad blood in the board, he was never given due recognition as the vice-president of Zifa.
“I believe I was an integral part of the whole operating system, but that never happened. So I have unfinished business at Zifa. I raised the issue with the councillors and I worked with them because they are the ones who elected me. We were not fighting for positions though, because if I was fighting for a position, I should be contesting for the presidency. I am one of those who feels that my hands are clean and that is why I have come back to contest,” Sibanda said.
On his backing of businessman Philip Chiyangwa for the Zifa presidency, Sibanda said he had made an informed decision as the politician is a natural fundraiser and the national association’s programmes can only succeed when money is available.
“Before we talk about development, we have to normalise and clean the rot at Zifa. A lot of strategic plans have been written, but none were implemented because there is no money and that is where Chiyangwa comes in. He is a natural fundraiser and we cannot continue to have a situation where workers are not being paid and there is no money for national teams,” he said.
Sibanda said councillors should be fully involved in football activities being undertaken by the national association, as they represent all football sectors.
“We should work together with the councilors because they are the parliamentarians of football. The councillors know what they want and I worked with them when they demonstrated unity of purpose, so I am confident that we will continue to work together to normalise football,” he said.
Former Dynamos player and administrator, Lincoln Mutasa will square off with Sibanda for the Zifa vice-president post on December 5.