By Nomalanga Moyo
SW Radio Africa
31 March 2014
ZIFA chairman Cuthbert Dube convincingly won re-election for another four year term, beating his nearest rival by 30 votes.
The former Public Service Medical Aid Society (PSMAS) chief executive got 44 votes to the 14 garnered by Trevor Carelse-Juul. The elections were supervised by Ashford Mamelodi, the FIFA southern region development officer.
There was no outright winner in the initial poll that saw Dube receive 34 votes, with Juul getting 14. Lesley Gwindi polled 10 and Nigel Munyati, the outgoing ZIFA board member, failed to get a single vote. New ZIFA guidelines stipulate that a candidate has to receive more than 38 votes to be declared the winner out of 58.
Omega Sibanda emerged as the new ZIFA vice president after beating Elkanah Dube by 38 votes to 20. However, it is Dube’s re-election that has sent jaws dropping in soccer loving Zimbabwe.
A top sports writer from the state media said Dube’s main challenge in his second and last term is his ability to see through his four years as ZIFA boss. His victory has been met by ‘shock and surprise’ rather than jubilation across the country, an indication of how unpopular Dube has become in the football fraternity.
Information Minister Jonathan Moyo could not contain his disappointment when he described Dube’s re-election as ‘indecent and in defiance of all rationality and purpose.’
‘As shocking and as distasteful as his re-election may seem to some, the government cannot involve itself or try to meddle in the affairs of the association as this will entail an expulsion from FIFA.’
Former ZBC football commentator Ezra ‘Tshisa’ Sibanda told us it is unfortunate that a person like Dube, who failed dismally in his first four years, should be given another chance to lead ZIFA.
‘It is dumbfounding that he is being given another chance to destroy football in the country. He has let junior football die a natural death…there is no more youth policy to talk about in Zimbabwe and yet this is the same program that produced the best footballers in the country since independence,’ Sibanda said.
Other analysts who spoke to SW Radio Africa said you don’t need the intelligence of a rocket scientist to understand why Dube got four more years to reign over football in Zimbabwe.
‘Money played a big part in this election,’ claimed one football administrator while another summed it up in one short phrase: ‘Don’t bite the hand that feeds you.’
By turning ZIFA into a giant gravy train and keeping friends close and enemies closer, Dube managed to quash any appetite for a change in leadership during Saturday’s poll.
Dube was last month sacked from the PSMAS in the aftermath of the scandal surrounding his obscene salary. He was at the helm of the medical aid society since 1992, earning $230,000 per month even though the company was reeling under a $38 million debt.