HARARE – Information, Media and Broadcasting Services minister Jonathan Moyo has expressed outrage over the decision by Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) councilors to re-elect Cuthbert Dube as president.
Dube shrugged off the challenge of Trevor Carelse-Juul when he polled 44 votes to the latter’s 34 in a run-off to land the top football post. Other contestants, Nigel Munyati and Leslie Gwindi, fell in the first round of voting.
“Well, ordinarily one would not want to comment on what was essentially a closed and rather specialised football election limited to the Zifa family and whose electorate had less than 100 voters,” Moyo began his scathing remarks.
“But it is also true that the beautiful game, that is football, is everybody’s business. Football is beautiful not only because it is played in many beautiful ways but also because we all enjoy it and therefore we all care about how it is run and who runs it.
‘‘As such, I suppose the first decent thing to say about the outcome of the weekend Zifa elections is to congratulate the winners and to wish them well.
“But as we say amhlophe and makorokoto to the winners we must also be honest to realise and state without fear or favour that the outcome of these elections was indecent and defied all rationality and purpose. What exactly was endorsed by this scandalous vote?’’ he said.
‘‘It is obvious to anyone who cares to examine the situation, and this should be particularly self-evident to the limited Zifa electorate that voted over the weekend, that the leadership that was returned had nothing to show for its performance and nothing different, new or better to offer.
“Zimbabwean soccer today is clearly in the doldrums in every respect with its administration characterised by breath taking chaos, incompetence and corruption with no precedence since our independence in 1980.
“The notion that the Zifa electorate voted for continuity is shamefully revealing. Continuity of what else besides naked and embarrassing failure?
‘‘For the first time, Zifa its affairs have become personalised and corrupted to the detriment of the national interest, let alone the values and ethos of the beautiful game.
“An example of this rot is how some elements within the Zifa leadership have had no shame in arrogantly boasting that they have been underwriting Zifa from their own personal pockets.
“Why would anyone use their own money from their own pockets to meet Zifa expenses? How deep are these pockets? What is the source of income of these deep and generous pockets? And if anyone has deep pockets to pay for all manner of Zifa expenses, does it not stand to reason that they can also buy their re-election to the Zifa leadership?
‘‘And so, as we congratulate the winners of the Zifa election, it must also be pointed out that nobody is fooled by the Zifa circus whose corruption in terms of moral irresponsibility was exposed by the outcome of the election.
“The Zifa electorate has prepared a bed full of thorns and they must now lie on that bed themselves and perhaps with the leadership it voted for. Nobody else, particularly the general public, football supporters or even sponsors, should be expected to lie on that thorny and dirty bed. The buck should stop with the indecent outcome of the scandalous election,” Moyo said.
If Moyo’s anger at Dube’s re-election is to be believed then he must have an idea how most Zimbabweans felt when Mugabe remained president in 2008 even though he sanctioned the mass murder of an estimated 500 opposition activists after losing the first round of the presidential election that year.
Dube at the helm of PSMAS since 1992, was earning $230 000 per month even though PSMAS was reeling from a US$38 million debt. Both Dube and PSMAS board chairperson Mrs Meisie Makeletso Namasasu were sacked in aftermath of the scandal surrounding their obscene salaries.
Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions secretary-general Japhet Moyo was also scathing in his remarks.
“He is not a suitable candidate judging by reports that we have been reading. Morally it was wrong for him to take home US$500 000 when the economy was performing badly and when Premier Service Medical Aid Society (where he was group CEO) was struggling to pay off health services delivered to its members,” said Mr Moyo.
“The decision was not proper. It was unfortunate that people who voted were looking at a person who would use his personal resources and they think or assume that he will continue to use them to help the association.”