The Sunday Mail
ZIFA are set to have a fresh face at the helm of the secretariat by mid-October, amid revelations the Normalisation Committee has completed interviews for a new chief executive officer.
The local football mother body has been without a substantive CEO ever since the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) suspended Joseph Mamutse in 2021.
Mamutse — suspended together with the then-SRC director-general Prince Mupazviriho — was then reinstated but he never resumed his duties as he got entangled in the boardroom battles between the Felton Kamambo-led board and the sports regulator.
He chose to stick with Kamambo until his ZIFA contract lapsed on August 31.
The Normalisation Committee chairperson, Lincoln Mutasa, told The Sunday Mail Sport yesterday that they had spent the better part of last week conducting interviews for the vacant post.
They are now looking to have the successful candidate assume duties within the next two weeks.
Initially, they had hoped to have the CEO in office by October 1 but they got bogged down by arranging matches for the Warriors and Mighty Warriors.
“Yes, we have been conducting interviews this week (last week). We shortlisted some names and then we invited people for the interviews,” Mutasa said.
“After the interviews, we will now look at the results and if it is a tight race, we will go back to the candidates and ask those topping the list to come back and make some presentations, and we hope that next week (this week) we can be able to sit down with the successful candidate and table our offer and negotiate the package.
“It is not always that the successful candidate will accept the offer, but we hope he or she will accept what we will table. In the event that there is no agreement, we then go to the next successful one.”
Mutasa, however, declined to reveal names of those who had been shortlisted.
But sources close to the goings-on at ZIFA revealed that the Normalisation Committee — which also includes Cynthia Malaba (Mutasa’s deputy), lawyer Nyasha Sanyamandwe and his fellow former footballers Sikumbuzo Ndebele and Rosemary Mugadza — had settled for the quartet of Owen Mugwagwa, Ngezi Platinum Stars’ Yvonne Mapika Manwa, Liberty Maidza and Violet Njubane of Premiership newboys Sheasham.
Njubane, the source also said, appears to be the front-runner and could be the second female ZIFA chief executive officer after Henrietta Rushwaya.
She is understood to enjoy the backing of FIFA head of development programmes Solomon Mudege, who has reportedly been hand-holding the Normalising Committee as they go about the arduous task of reforming ZIFA.
“It seems to be a close race between Sheasham CEO Violet Njubane and Liberty Maidza, who is a former president of the Zimbabwe Universities Sports Associations and once served on the ZIFA Mashonaland Central board,” added the
After a false start in which they failed to confirm with COSAFA on time for the Warriors to take part in the 2023 competition, the Normalisation Committee are this time sending the Mighty Warriors to the Women’s Championship scheduled to start on Wednesday in Gauteng, South Africa.
They also finally constituted the Warriors technical set-up when they appointed Highlanders’ expatriate gaffer Baltemar Brito as the senior national team coach, at least for the duration of their tenure, which is expected to end in June next year.
But as they look to appoint Mamutse’s replacement, the committee would also have to brace for what is potentially a bruising battle with the ex-secretariat’s trio of chief operations officer Xolisani Gwesela, national teams’ general manager Wellington Mpandare and technical director Wilson Mutekede.
The committee dissolved the posts and must now pay them severance packages.
ZIFA, however, has a poor history with creditors, including ex-employees, who are still owed money.