The Zifa nomination process closes today and it is incumbent on the voting councillors to make the right and informed choices instead of being swayed by charm, charisma and trinkets.
For the past few years, the administration of local football has been appalling to say the least and the councillors now have a chance to correct past mistakes and it should be impressed on them that if they squander this one, then that could spell doom for local football. It is important that those who will vote should not just vote anyone because he or she has promised money or that the person is a smooth talker.
As we have learnt from the Cuthbert Dube fiasco, it is imprudent to vote for someone because that person is wealthy and may chip in with personal funds, but rather we need someone with the interests of local football at heart.
Businessman Phillip Chiyangwa’s entry into the race to succeed Dube has been characterised by asphyxiating coverage in the local media, but before he gets any endorsement, anyone who is interested in football must ask if he is the right man for the job. For all his flashy lifestyle, Chiyangwa has not covered himself in any administrative glory in the manner some of his companies are run.
Zeco, once a decorated engineering company, fell on hard times when Chiyangwa took over and it is imperative that Zimbabweans and the councillors who will vote for the Zifa president ask themselves if he is the right person for the job. The engineering company’s shares last traded in 2012, according to a report, while the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators once ranked Zeco as the worst governed listed counter due to its failure to release financial results on time and hold annual general meetings of shareholders.
Thus, a legitimate question that deserves to be asked is that if Chiyangwa cannot govern his own companies, what business should he have running a public body?
For all his flamboyance, Chiyangwa’s Zeco only had cash and cash equivalents of $129 down from $8 393 in the prior year and had a $28 000 cash overdraft. Cash and cash equivalent refer to the value of a company’s assets that are cash or can immediately be converted into cash.
While Chiyangwa can be well-meaning in his quest to land the Zifa post, the way he has handled Zeco should make the ordinary Zimbabwean sceptical of his motives.
Chiyangwa probably has some successes running his other companies, but Zeco blights his business acumen and, as they say, one bad apple spoils the barrel.
We applaud his donations to the Warriors and Mighty Warriors, but the timing of the handouts, right before elections, also raises questions on his sincerity. Chiyangwa is known to boast of his riches and lately of his looks and we hope his desire to land the Zifa post is not another vainglorious expedition. While all eyes are on Chiyangwa, we implore the Zifa councillors, who are going to vote, to be on their guard and select the right candidate.
Previously, the Zifa councillors not only voted Dube, but re-elected him, despite his obvious shortcomings and most football lovers are literally begging that this group does not lead us down that route again. The ball is now in the councillors’ court, they should vote with their heads. If they do not, local football may never recover.
What football needs now is a mature, level-headed person and that is what the councillors must demand from those who submit their papers today. Anything else will be the equivalent of giving hostage to fortune.