Makomborero Mutimukulu Sports Editor
CUTHBERT DUBE vowed to knock at 53 Livingstone Avenue “first thing tomorrow” demanding the nearly US$1 million dollars he is owed by Zifa after the soccer governing body’s councillors resolved to revoke his mandate and that of the board in Harare yesterday. A massive 51 councillors voted in favour of a motion to boot out the highly unpopular Dube, who had on Friday indicated that he intended to leave office on December 5. Also sacked yesterday were those who remained of the Zifa board at an extraordinary general meeting at Prince Edward School in Harare. Three councillors wanted Dube and his board of Fungai Chihuri, John Phiri, Twine Phiri and Tawengwa Hara to continue their sorry reign.
Three other members of the Zifa board — Omega Sibanda, Ben Gwarada and Miriam Sibanda — were already in the cold after being controversially suspended by Dube as the ousted Zifa boss instituted a vicious purge on perceived enemies earlier this year as he tried to stave off the inevitable.
The dramatic turn of events saw Zifa chief executive Jonathan Mashingaidze become interim leader of the local soccer mother body by virtue of being head of the secretariat. The miffed councillors, whose initial attempt to chuck out Dube imploded on a technicality in May, had hoped to appoint an interim committee seemingly forgetting that the Zifa constitution has no such provision. Elections for a new Zifa board will now have to be held before December 5, 2015.
A seemingly relaxed Dube insisted he was not bitter as he addressed the Press after the meeting. “It’s better I am leaving now rather than later, it means fewer headaches for me. Don’t forget I resigned, and the outcome of today’s vote was probably influenced by the fact that the board had no leader,” he claimed. Asked if he wants the money he bailed Zifa out with, the veteran administrator boomed: “Oh yes! I want my money.
In fact I will be the first person to knock on Zifa doors first thing tomorrow.”Mashingaidze will not be referred to as the acting Zifa president, but he is just that for all intents and purposes. And the man whom many believe is Dube’s sidekick declared he was capable of steering the local football ship until a new board came into office. “One has to live with what is there and be able to serve football. I have handled much bigger tasks before and I am ready to apply myself fully and professionally,” he said.
Mashingaidze, who is also charged with implementing the elections roadmap, dismissed allegations that he would use his interim reign to fight personal battles. “I don’t think I will have time for that, I devote my time to serving football. After elections to bring in a new board I look forward to continuing in my role because I have a contract with Zifa,” said the controversial administrator.
Dube was elected into office in March 2010 on the back of an impressive manifesto that promised to bring professionalism and sponsors to local football. His first term was a disaster but he still managed to secure a second mandate in March last year after seeing off the challenge of Trevor David Carelse-Juul and former Harare City chairman Lesley Gwindi. Allegations of vote-buying marred both election victories — but these have never been proven.
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