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Zifa engage accounting firm

By Grace Chingoma

As part of their efforts to woo the corporate world into their corner, ZIFA, who have engaged accounting firm Price Waterhouse Coopers and marketing consultants OpenMinds, are now expected to set up a board of trustees which will oversee how the money poured in by companies is managed.

PwC managing partner Tinashe Rwodzi
PwC managing partner Tinashe Rwodzi

This follows a sponsorship and rebranding indaba held in Harare yesterday, which received support from the football stakeholders.

The beleaguered association, before the ouster of former president Cuthbert Cube, had roped in the respectable accountants Price Waterhouse Coopers, who through marketing consultants Open Minds, are assisting the mother body to turn around their fortunes by being accountable in a bid to attract some of the sponsors who might be shying away due to lack of transparency.

The involvement of PwC is to make sure that funds handling is done in a transparent manner, something which has been lacking in the past.

And yesterday, the Minister of Sport and Recreation Makhosini Hlongwane, Sports Commission acting board chairperson Edward Siwela and some companies met with the PwC managing partner Tinashe Rwodzi and Open Minds who carried them through presentations of how things would operate.

In a presentation done by Rwodzi yesterday, he outlined that the trust will have an independent board of Trustees which will include members from the anchor sponsors who would be sponsoring ZIFA.

“The trustees’ appointment will be done by ZIFA under consultation with PwC and Open Minds.

“An independent board of Trustees will comprise three to five nominees of sponsors, a legal practitioner of at least seven years experience and an unblemished record in legal practice.

“It will also have an experienced accountant and a retired football player or administrator with a solid knowledge of football,” Rwodzi outlined in the presentation.

It was clearly explained that these persons, especially the former player or administrator, would not be the recycled material but highly regarded people such as (former Zimbabwe Olympic Committee president) Tommy Sithole and the legendary Peter Ndlovu.

Rwodzi further explained the role of PwC.

“PwC will be appointed by the Trust to take up the role of fund administration, fund management and financial advice.

“PwC will report to the Trust, PwC will remain independent and will disengage if at any event this is compromised.

“A dedicated trust bank account will be administered by PwC and funding from various donors and sponsors will be deposited into this trust bank and PwC will disburse upon authorisation by the Trustees based upon budgets approved by the sponsors and trustees,” he said.

Open Minds managing director Darren Thompson said they got in the first agreement with ZIFA in January and for the past few weeks have been approaching and engaging the sponsors who may want to come on board. Thompson, who is working as a consultancy, will only get a commission when he brings in companies that fork out their money.

He said he was confident that by this accountable and transparency manner the national association’s image badly tarnished would be mended.

And Thompson, who has vast experience believe this is the only way forward for ZIFA and is optimistic that even the new board which would be put in place in December will have no problems continuing with the project which should benefit football.

He said in their findings over ZIFA management, they have established that a simple rebranding of ZIFA will not address the association’s problems.

“Over the 11-year, 12-day journey, through a number of ZIFA CEO’s and Board members and a constant barrage of very bad media and public relations it became evident that a new logo, name and/or coat of paint on ZIFA house would not address the negatives.

“A fresh look at the problems with the intent of creating sustainable solutions was needed, primarily centred on managing and handling finances,” said Thompson in his presentation.

The marketer gave an example that should ZIFA have a budget of say US$100 000 to host an upcoming match, the association is expected to present it to PwC who in turn will scrutinise it before presenting the final budget which may have been cut by say US$10 000 to the sponsor who will then effect the payment. The Herald

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