HARARE - Zifa president Cuthbert Dube and CEO Jonathan Mashingaidze are the cancer destroying the local game a commission of inquiry into the state of football was told yesterday.
The inquest was initiated by the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) after Zifa suspended vice president Omega Sibanda, board member Bernard Gwarada and 12 councillors last month.
SRC director-general Charles Nhemachena appointed a commission comprising chairperson Obadiah Moyo, Farai Kanyangarara, Mirriam Mushayi and Jessie Nyakatwa to look into the problems bedevilling local football.
Moyo’s commission held their first public hearing at Queen Elizabeth School in the capital yesterday where most people who spoke apportioned blame at Dube and Mashingaidze for running down Zimbabwean football.
Julius Chakupuwa of Impact Sports Alliance said: “I don’t think people at Zifa know their mandate. For over a year now, we have been trying to register our academy but we are met with one frustration after the other.
“Each time we go to Zifa to register we are transferred from one office to the other. They are saying they don’t have money and here I am to give them money but they chase me away. It’s all about mismanagement that’s all. Those people should just leave the office.”
An emotionally-charged Miriam Sibanda, who was suspended as the women’s football boss after a public fall out with Mashingaidze in April, was emotional during her presentation.
“I think I’m still the chairman of women’s football although others have a different view,” she said.
“I become emotional when I talk about these issues. I wrote to Zifa on three occasions asking to appear before the disciplinary committee but nothing has been done up to now.
“There are a lot of things happening behind the scenes. Imagine since I assumed office I have only met with the CEO once. You are lucky if you get to talk to him.
“I guess he is too busy to talk with his board members. It’s difficult to get hold of him. He always gives excuses. If you ask about anything, you are labelled an ‘enemy of football.”
“The CEO is the centre of power at Zifa. Everything is done to suit his ego. Even the constitution; it is interpreted to suit the CEO. The girl child is being ill-treated and they go to Parliament and lie.
“The big problem is we have personalised our football. If I write something to the president I am charged for that, but the question is how then do we communicate?’’
Tinashe Mapuranga of Cutting Edge Sport Consultants said: “Issues affecting our football are not far off from the CEO. He is the central figure in everything.
“There is gross mismanagement at Zifa. Councillors no longer have the power to execute their duties. Everything now starts and ends with the CEO. It is not a secret that the current secretariat has failed and must leave office.”