By Sikhumbuzo Moyo
ZIFA presidential candidate Philip Chiyangwa has said that he will not make the same mistake as the ousted former president Cuthbert Dube who used his personal funds to run and bail out the beleaguered national association.
Chiyangwa said he was a financial engineer who does not have to inject his money into the association. Instead, Chiyangwa said, once in office he will make sure that the football association is remodelled into a viable business entity that will be able to generate revenue on its own.
“There seems to be a misconception from the generality of our football followers that I will use my own personal resources to run this association, no I will not do that.
“It’s not about going in there and pumping in money, we need to use our business minds and find solutions for ZIFA to make the money it needs,” said Chiyangwa.
He said personally he was actually querying the ZIFA debt, believed to be in the region of $6 million.
“ZIFA has the potential of making money from its assets like the ZIFA Village and the Kensington property, those are possible income-generating properties but once in office I will first institute a forensic audit exercise because for starters I don’t believe the figures we are being told about. “We have been told that our national teams were booked at some lodges that cost $140 per room when we know for certain that lodges are well below $100. “All those who are said to be owing ZIFA will naturally be visited to ascertain their claims and then if we agree a payment plan will then be sorted out,” said Chiyangwa.
The flamboyant Harare property mogul will battle for the ZIFA presidency against former association chairman Trevor Carelse-Juul, former Premier Soccer League secretary-general and ex-Harare City chairman Leslie Gwindi and 1984 Soccer Star of the Year James Takavada. Chiyangwa said Government funding for national sport such as football could not be ignored but there has to be a well-laid out business plan that would charm both the Government and industry. “Global trends show how government support can boost sports, whether its cricket in India or athletics in Kenya, Jamaica or Ethiopia, the successes there are all in a major way due to their government’s active participation,” he said.
Chiyangwa said it was imperative that people accept that football has become a business all over the world not just sport. “It is therefore imperative that Zimbabwe refuses to be left behind, I notice and acknowledge our Premiership clubs like CAPS United which have boldly taken this route,” says Chiyangwa. The Herald