Zifa elec­tions fever grips town

Sunday News (Zimbabwe) - - Front Page - Ngqwele Dube Sports Cor­re­spon­dent

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.

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