Zifa's top post aspirants emerge

Prophet Walter Magaya

Names of individuals who are said to be interested in vying for the Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) presidency have already started to make rounds in football corridors.

Several and familiar names like prophet Walter Magaya, former Caps United owner Twine Phiri, commentator Charles Mabika, UK-based Marshall Gore, and businessman Brighton 'Panjap' Ushendibaba are all rumoured to be keeping an eye on the top position.

In the meantime, these remain rumours as the individuals are yet to officially or publicly declare their candidacy.

As it stands, these speculated potential candidates have preferred to keep their cards close to their chests, a move that could be seen as a calculated strategy.

This reporter interviewed some of the candidates and as expected, the majority remained coy except for Pan Jap who declared his interest.

It seems they are waiting for the right time to declare their interests, but it is rumored some have already begun 'dark' campaigns to test the waters.

"Yes it's true (I'm interested in the top post)," confirmed Ushendibaba who is the director and benefactor for the Castle Lager PSL outfit Simba Bhora.

Veteran sportscaster Charles Mabika neither agreed nor denied that he wanted to throw his name into the hat.

He responded: "I have no comment for now, thank you," said the legendary sportscaster whose contribution to Zimbabwean football was recently recognised by the Footballers Union of Zimbabwe who honoured him with an award.

Ironically, as if they responded while sitted in the same room or urged each other not to open up, Gore and Bunjira also followed suit.

Just like Mabika, the two were also not clear and were reluctant to give details about their interests, responding in a more 'diplomatic manner'.

"Unfortunately, at this stage, I can only talk about Zifa elections when the date and the time has been set," the Caps United legend outlined.

Gaza, as Bunjira was nicknamed during his playing days in the domestic league added: "For now, I'm focusing on my duties at Caps United and Albun Academy. I don't want to get into fights and suffer attacks for things I don't know when they will happen."

Then responding from his United Kingdom (UK) base, Gore — who is the Team Zimbabwe UK chief executive — only acknowledged his name is being heavily linked with the Zifa top post.

However, he neither agreed nor denied that he will vie for the top post.

He said at the moment: "My current ambition is to contribute to the advancement of football in Zimbabwe. With experience gained abroad, I aim to channel this knowledge back home.

"My main focus is on revitalising our infrastructure, particularly stadiums, and establishing a grassroots football development grant to empower local football initiatives.

"My passion lies in fostering growth at grassroots level, driven by a genuine commitment to development rather than personal gain."

The interested candidates might have to wait a while longer before officially throwing hats into the ring.

This is after the Zifa normalisation committee (NC), currently overseeing operations, is still working on regularising the constitution for the electoral process.

Consequently, the election timeline still remains unclear.

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