Zifa elections fever grips town
VETERAN football administrators, Musa Mandaza and Andrew Tapela go head to head in what is expected to be a closely contested battle to lead the Zifa Southern Region for the next four years in elections scheduled for Bulawayo this morning.
Six prospective executive committee members are fighting it out for the four posts up for grabs with the post of vice-chairman, already filled by Gaylord Madhunguza, who filed nominations papers unopposed. Incumbents, Bryton Malandule and Tumediso Mokoena-Ndlovu are seeking re-election and are being challenged by former ZRP Bulawayo chairman Fiso Siziba and ZPC Hwange secretary Mehluli Thebe, Bulawayo City manager Tizirayi Luphahla, Mosi Rovers chairman Mwanda Mubita.
Outgoing chairman, Mandaza is banking on his success for the past four years while Tapela has revealed an ambitious plan to lead the region to greater heights.
Mandaza’s tenure saw him secure two cup tournaments, while managing to get a top goal scorer of the month and journalist of the month awards sponsorship. He said he also managed to secure medals for the champions while introducing the soccer stars awards for the Division One league.
Former Highlanders secretary, Tapela believes his experience with the Bulawayobased football giants will enable him to secure corporate partners to brand the league and introduce tangible financial rewards for all the league’s teams.
He is looking forward to capacitating administrators, coaches and players while ensuring they build synergies through twinning arrangements with leagues outside the country and working with other lower league to bring unison development in the region.
The former Zifa provincial chairman said he also intends working on infrastructure to give Zifa offices a facelift.
Candidates for the executive committee members are banking on experience in the game with Luphahla hoping to use his 10 years experience in the game to make a bigger impact in the sport. Luphahla, who holds a B.Comm in Accounting and an MBA, said he took his took years as a learning curve and now believes he has learnt enough to make the difference at regional level.
The Bulawayo City team manager, who has also had stints with Chicken Inn and Bantu Rovers, believes now is the time to take the Southern Region to the next level in terms of professionalism and assist clubs and the region as a whole prepare to adopt the Fifa Club Licensing regulations.
Mubita also believes his experience of over 20 years in football administration puts him in the best position to take the game forward in the Southern Region.
“I’m passionate about the game and have been in football since 1993. After having been part of the Mat North provincial structure, I feel it’s now time to take my efforts to the region. I believe in working together, developing the region through closer engagement with lower structures while finding ways to ensure teams get financial support,” he said.