By Sikhumbuzo Moyo
The incumbent Zifa trio of president Phillip Chiyangwa, his deputy Omega Sibanda and executive committee member Philemon Machana have declared themselves ready for the December 1 election and are confident of victory.
Former Zifa executive committee member Felton Kamambo is challenging Chiyangwa for the association’s presidency, while former Southern Region chairman Gift Banda wants the vice presidency’s post.
Public relations practitioners Sugar Chagonda, Barry Manandi, former Chicken Inn treasurer, Mlungisi Moyo and Harare-based businessman Chamu Chiwanza filed nomination papers for the four executive committee members’ posts.
Zifa Southern Region board member Bryton Malandule is also believed to be eyeing a place on the executive committee.
“As Chiyangwa I am ready for Kamambo. We welcome him into the ring; let’s just hope he is ready for the campaign trail. It’s going to be a vigorous campaign and we will meet on December 1,” said Chiyangwa.
His deputy Sibanda said he was entering the race on the backdrop of a successful stint in office and wants to scale dizzy heights.
“I am entering the race as part of a team that has done extremely well for the development of the game in the country as well as an improved image of the association. Our national teams have been participating in various competitions.
The Warriors qualified for the African Cup of Nations and are also well on course for another appearance.
“I am ready for the challenge from Banda and if I lose, the councillors would have spoken. I will shake hands with him and we move on. I also expect the same from him,” said Sibanda.
Machana, in charge of the association’s finances, said it was probably the first time that the financial books were done on time and with transparency, hence he was confident councillors would want the sobering state of affairs to be maintained.
“We have stabilised the association. When we took over, Zifa was literally a ruin with no one wanting to associate with it, but now that it’s a mansion, everyone wants to live in it. It’s still okay, but we have total belief in our councillors that they know the kind of work we have done and will want to see us continue with the good work we are doing for the association and for the image of the country.
“Financial prudence is not taken for granted with those that are set to benefit, which is the players, getting their dues, not the other way round where people literally enriched themselves to the detriment of the game. So yes, its game on and we are ready for the elections,” said Machana.
The trio of Banda, Moyo and Kamambo are believed to have been nominated by members of the Northern Region led by chairman Willard Manyengavana, while the other three regions nominated the incumbent trio.
The Zifa electoral committee will announce the names of successful candidates today after a verification process. The Chronicle.