A fierce battle is expected between Piraishe Mabhena and Stanley Mago when the two cross swords for the Eastern Region Division One chairman’s post in Masvingo this morning.
Another contest is looming in the Southern Region where Mandlenkosi Moyo and Musa Mandaza square off.
Felton Kamambo and Willard Manyengavana of the Central and Northern regions respectively, will have automatic entry as they have not been challenged.
Mabhena and Mago, who were both in the previous board, are fighting to succeed former boss Fungai Chihuri who is not seeking re-election as he is eyeing a top post in the Zifa board. Mandaza and Moyo want to succeed Morgan Dube who has been chairman on acting capacity after Gift Banda was suspended on accusations of match-fixing in the Centralgate scandal.
In his election manifesto, Mabhena, who has a rich football history backdating to 2005, said it was the right time to unify Eastern region through the development of sport.
“I think the little experience that I have gained since 2005 will help me in making the region a better place for football. Some of my plans are to maintain an organised competitive league that will generate value for stakeholders. I would also want to see the establishment of Zifa offices in Masvingo,” Mabhena said in his manifesto.
He added, “This will not be possible if all the stakeholders are not educated, therefore there is need to start from bottom, educating stakeholders, including players, coaches, executive members, administrators, sponsors and leadership. The biggest of them all is to source for sponsorship. We really need to have a sponsor in order for our league to be attractive and I am sure I will be equal to the task ahead of me. What we need to do is to start negotiating to retain the Sylvia Dube Trophy which had become a permanent feature on our calendar. In addition, we need to look at our grounds as well as fees that go hand in hand with their use. Some of the charges are too high for our clubs. I need to look into all this.”
His opponent, who had been deputy to Chihuri for the past two terms, said he would want to continue from where the previous board had left but now as the leader of the group.
“Look at what we achieved, a number of clubs have made it from our region during our time. This is exactly what I would want to do. I would also want others to inherit the spirit of corporate governance at all levels,” Mago said from his base in Gweru.
There has been confusion over his commitment to the league as he is now stationed in Gweru. Concerning that, he had this to say: “People should understand the difference between residence and employment. I stay in Masvingo but work in Gweru. But I have what it takes to develop football right from schools into the league,” he added.
In the southern region, Mandaza decided to hang on to power and will face Moyo in what looks like a battle of the titans.
Kamambo made an easy entrance into office as he was unopposed. He will succeed Patrick Hokonya who was suspended sometime back over the Centralgate scandal while Manyengavana, who was unopposed in the northern region, also easily made it into office to replace Saidi Sangula who had taken over from Solomon Mugavazi after his suspension over the Asiagate scandal.
Full list of ZIFA candidates
Stanley Mago, Piraishe Mabhena (chairman), Cyril Mukwewa (vice-chairman), Wisdom Simba, Davison Muchena, Farai Rutsvara (board members)
Mandlenkosi Moyo, Musa Mandaza (chairman), Tawanda Ruzive, Gaylord Madhunguza (vice-chairman), Jabulani Chinyangarara, Tumediso Ndlovu, Sydney Madzvimbo, Bryton Malandule, Patrick Malunga, Khumbulani Malunga, Khumbulani Mbano (board members).
Willard Manyengavana (chairman), vice-chairman Martin Kweza, board members Stanslous Nyachowe, Sweeney Mushonga, Robert Mamvura and John Remba.
Felton Kamambo (chairman), Patrick Hill (vice-chairman), Thomas Marambanyika, James Marima, Charlton Moyo, Stanley Chapeta (board members).