By Ricky Zililo
Zimbabwe National Soccer Supporters’ Association (ZNSSA) board member Eddie Chivero yesterday challenged the newly elected Zifa executive committee to walk the talk and deliver on their promises or risk facing the boot.
Chivero, the self-styled football kingmaker, played a key role in orchestrating the fall of the Phillip Chiyangwa-led board, which he backed in 2015 when it came into office.
It is Chivero and a couple of his “football friends” from the supporters’ end that had also played a leading role in campaigning for Cuthbert Dube to lead the Zifa executive in 2010.
Dube finished his first four-year term and went on to serve half of his second term before being toppled in 2015, resulting in Chiyangwa being elected to finish the remainder of his term. Chiyangwa’s efforts for a fresh full-term fell through.
Chivero was at the centre of the Zifa 2018 elections drama and warned the new board led by president Felton Kamambo, his deputy Gift Banda, the four board members Chamu Chiwanza, Bryton Malandule, Sugar Chagonda and Phillemon Machana to execute their mandate.
“It is important that they (Zifa board) know why they were campaigning and why they were voted in. Each one of them has a mandate and their mandate is to serve Zimbabwean football. A lot has been happening in our football. I don’t understand the magnitude of celebrations that I’m hearing out there after the coming in of the new executive. People were quiet fearing victimisation, but all of a sudden they erupted in celebrations,” said Chivero.
“They (board) have to know that the same people who voted them in, can also vote them out if they don’t respect them or do things that are not good for football.”
“Remember, when Cuthbert Dube came into office I was playing the gunman. I was his number nine. When he came into office he changed the whole strategy, did the opposite of what he had promised and I left him, went into the trenches where I started to fire from. I then approached Chiyangwa. I had lots of fights with many of my football friends because they were sceptical of him.
“I had to convince the councillors and my football friends that if Chiyangwa doesn’t toe the line, we will kick him out. The message is the same for Felton Kamambo, Gift Banda and the other board members; if they don’t do football things, uphold the constitution, then they will go and we will look for the next candidate.
“I think the councillors have been vindicated because only last week, insults were flying directed to these councillors and today they are heroes of football. So, the new board must know that the councillors are football custodians, deserve to be respected and they (Zifa board) can’t suspend councillors or victimise them because they don’t agree on certain things,” said Chivero.
He revealed that he wanted to go for the vice-presidency when Banda was reluctant to enter the race fearing mudslinging.
“I called Banda when he was in China and told him to go for the Zifa vice-presidency. I did so because I had worked with him at Njube Sundowns, I knew his passion for football, how he felt seeing football going down the drain.
“To me, he was and is the best person to be in the team that has been given the mandate to give a fresh look to our beautiful game. At first he didn’t want to go for it citing lack of togetherness in our football and also highlighting the pull him down syndrome. We resolved it and everything is history,” said Chivero.
For a football supporter to have been able to push his “horse” to the winning point, Chivero feels he has done well for the local game. The Chronicle