By Lovemore Dube
RARELY has the job attracted so much attention. Is it a genuine desire to get Zimbabwe to the top or a situation where some are seeing the gravy train running away?
Events of last Saturday and early this week portray a very worrying picture about the stewards entrusted with steadying the ship. I have no doubt that people are losing hope in Cuthbert Dube’s management by day.
There is little of the much sung about corporate governance on display. Fears are that soccer has been used for too long for people to make money out of and also build egos and fiefdoms at the expense of the nation that has moved from 110 to 118 in the world in the last two months.
The sommersaulting by Zifa on the appointment of the coaches has left a sour taste in the mouths of many.
It is a fact that the Zifa presidium of boss Dube his deputies Ndumiso Gumede and Kenny Marange concurred with the board’s decision to appoint Tom Saintfiet as Warriors coach last Saturday.
There is no denial that the board met in Harare on Saturday morning and announcements were to be made that afternoon. The technical team then presented its list of coaches and managers to the board. There was approval from the whole board that Saintfiet lands the job with legends Madinda Ndlovu and Friday Phiri his assistants.
What happened between the end of the meeting before lunch and Press conference time? Was there some undue influence on Zifa not to go ahead with the announcement? Could there be a hidden hand ursuping a properly constituted meeting and body’s powers?
So much begs an answer and yet sadly the media has spent the week unsuccessfully failing to get comments from Zifa.
A meeting was then sought with Norman Mapeza to explain to him that he had failed to make the cut. What also minimised his chances was that he did not fare well in the Caf C Licence course held at the beginning of the year.
Mapeza allegedly turned down the offer to coach the Under-23 team that would have made him an assistant to Saintfiet.
Dube and his two deputies had a meeting among themselves and on their return, they presented a list which had no changes in the coaches’ lists. The only change was removing Eddie Chivero from being one of the Young Warriors managers. Sources in the Zifa board said the presidium felt he had links with some undesirable elements from the previous order.
After their return, seeing that they were all agreed that the Belgian national who is in charge of Namibia was the obvious choice, it was agreed that he be called while they were still in the meeting. Saintfiet’s response is said to have been that he was ready for the challenge and would catch the next flight to Harare.
Things took a nasty turn when the Press conference to announce national coaches and managers was announced.
Some once influential personalities in the game were disturbed with the line-up and to seek sympathies decided to play an ethnic card on the issue. What is believed to have angered them was that one of their friends had been shut out as they had hoped he would be general manager of national teams. Until recently there has not been such a post.
A number of board members spoken to said some elements involved with betting syndicates wanted to have a say in the coaches and managers. They wanted people they could manipulate and get their results. Some of the coaches also belong to agents who manage the majority of the players in the national teams and would ensure that those belonging to their camps are capped.
Zifa should play ball and stand guided by the constitution.
The national association should be reminded that every Zimbabwean regardless of where he comes from is entitled to an appointment to national teams.
Harare does not have a birthright to national teams.
What the appointment has seemingly done is to expose Dube’s management. Corporate governance is fast fading away and the return of the rotten past is imminent.
Players like the media and fans will work with whoever has been appointed to the job.
It is up to the responsible committee to do as mandated without any interference or fear.
The next assignment is only a fortnight away and the sooner Zifa play ball the better and getting our preparations in place.
(The original report from http://www1.chronicle.co.zw)