The Sunday Mail
Deputy Sports Editor
SUNNY Mbofana is likely going to carry the unfortunate tag of being the “alternative” vote and candidate at the Basketball Union of Zimbabwe (BUZ) elections slated for month-end.
While this will probably be viewed either as a good or bad thing by most, the 53-year-old has decided to view the glass as half full and wear the tag like a badge of honour.
“My nomination came through Arcadia Bucs and it was submitted roughly 30 minutes before the deadline,” said Mbofana, chronicling the circumstances surrounding his nomination.
“I discovered that quite a number of HBA (Harare Basketball Association) teams were not too happy with a candidate that had been put forward and they ended up submitting my name for nomination as what you can call an alternative candidate.”
Left to his own devices, Mbofana would have preferred to forgo the elections and spend the next couple of years juggling his time between work, home and as his duties as chairperson of City Hornets.
The seasoned administrator is married to Fortunate Murwira and the couple is blessed with four kids — Bryron, Brandon, Natalie and Sunny Jnr.
Natalie, the youngest, is a keen basketball fan and can often be seen accompanying her father to most basketball games during weekends.
Away from the sport, Mbofana works at Harare City Council, where he is the personal assistant to the mayor.
With all these duties, he had decided to sit out the forthcoming elections.
He actually planned to take run for president at the next elections.
It, however, did not go according to plan.
Now, rather go for the top job, he has decided to channel his energy towards the secretary-general post.
“I obviously did have my sights set on BUZ’s biggest office (president), just not for this particular elections,” he said.
“The time was not right yet, and it is a point I had stressed to the few gentlemen that had approached me to run.
“However, this has changed and I am ready to run for the secretary-general post.”
Mbofana is a former HBA president and is the current chairperson of City Hornets.
He is one of the founding members and players of the club, as well as a former marketing executive of Harare City Football Club. For him, the SG’s office offers the opportunity to effect change.
After all, this has been his dream from the beginning.
“I am one person who has had a run-in with the current administration and generally do not like the way the sport has been run,” he said.
“A more recent example is the Gweru debacle where Harare City Hornets ended up taking issues to the courts to fight the system.
“This was a situation in which BUZ, through its secretary-general, wanted to punish the club for players that had plied their trade in different countries like Zambia and South Africa.
“They were called for a hearing and we found it puzzling how this was an offence.
“There also had a case in which an entire tournament’s results were nullified, and this after teams had travelled from different parts of the country and ran around to finance their trips.”
He views the post of secretary-general as similar to that of the CEO (chief executive officer).
Through his manifesto, he envisages creating and securing sponsorship for a national league, creating a defined programme for all national teams and the active involvement of the country’s five major basketball cities.
The plans also include having a national league for senior men and women, as well as youth teams, active and running by May 2022.
Further, the national team programme would encompass monthly training sessions and friendlies every four months.
Mbofana wishes to establish mayoral tournaments for the top four provincial teams between May and September 2022.
However, of all his goals and plans, the establishment of national league remains his biggest dream.
He even has a plan to fund the tournament.
“On the issue of funding, my track record speaks for itself,” he said.
“I managed to secure sponsorship for both Harare City FC and City Hornets.
“Sitting in the mayor’s office, you will find I am closer to a number of corporates, the big guys in the diplomatic circle and a number of officials in council (including mayors).
“I think I can take advantage of this point, talk to these people and get them more involved in the sport.”