Multitudes of football stakeholders hold their collective breath as they await results of the Zifa elections set for tomorrow.
BY Kevin Mapasure
After all the fights, the talk, the accusations and the persuasions, the process should come to its conclusion bar the unforeseen.
This is one election that would probably match the big Harare derby in terms of raising public anticipation.
The process has been as intriguing as is often witnessed during the run-up to a crucial Warriors home match, while the election itself could be as nail-biting as a cup final penalty shootout.
Up to now, some of the key moments have included the barring and subsequent reinstatement of presidential candidate Felton Kamambo, as well as Gift Banda, who will be out to wrest the vice-presidency from the incumbent Omega Sibanda.
Incumbent president Philip Chiyangwa and Sibanda’s premature and wild celebrations when they seemed to have walked back into office hustle-free after it was announced they would go into the election uncontested were brutally cut short by Fifa’s intervention.
Both have had to go back and work hard again to lobby, beg and persuade councillors for their crucial vote.
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It seems none will have it any easy with their challengers having put a lot of work in the campaign trail.
Kamambo and Banda may also benefit from the sympathy that accrued from the period they fought hard, faced with uncertainty and frustrations as they sought to be registered.
Chiyangwa and Sibanda worked as a tag team in their campaign in the 2015 election and the former needed the endorsement of the latter when his credentials were being questioned.
The two have been close since then and have stuck together throughout their tenure. It doesn’t seem so anymore, with Chiyangwa warming up to a romance with Banda. Banda has had the better of Sibanda before after the two came face to face for the Southern Region chairmanship post.
As they square up again, Banda will be confident of trouncing his rival once more.
Sibanda has been doing his campaign and has maintained visibility in the media unlike Chiyangwa, who has put himself on mute, refusing to entertain the media on any matters of football or elections.
Chiyangwa has been going about his business quietly, focusing sorely on the voting public and declining to make any promises to anyone.
Probably, he is saying his record speaks for itself, for he has had his fair share of success, especially with national teams doing well under his tenure.
He will have held many meetings with the voting councillors to sell his promises. Some of the councillors have already come out in the public, giving a vote of confidence to his administration.
If those pledges were genuine, he walks into the election with at least 10 votes in the bag and, of course, he would have been promised many more by others in his corner.
Yet Kamambo is predicting a 40-20 trouncing of Chiyangwa, which makes it all interesting.
Those that promised Chiyangwa the vote would have also pledged to vote for Kamambo, but one of them may have been fooled.
The Zifa elections are held by a secret ballot and certain promises may not be kept.