Highlanders chairman Peter Dube will lead the Premier Soccer League (PSL) for the next two years following a landslide victory over Dynamos’ Keni Mubaiwa in a by-election for the local league’s chairman post in Harare yesterday.
BY MUNYARADZI MADZOKERE
The veteran Highlanders administrator becomes the latest addition to the Zifa board led by Phillip Chiyangwa.
The Zifa president — who was also present to witness the poll — immediately invited Dube to the country’s ultimate football governing caucus.
Dube, who was the acting chairman since Twine Phiri was elbowed out by the new Chiyangwa-led Zifa board in December, garnered 11 of a total 16 votes, which is the number of football teams in the league. Mubaiwa got four.
Only 15 clubs voted because ZPC Kariba could not partake in the electoral process, as their secretary Robert Mamvura, who was representing his club, was barred from voting.
The PSL constitution states that only club presidents or chairpersons have the right to vote.
It is understood that ZPC Kariba chairman Tungamirai Mazarire could not be part of the elections in the capital, as he was attending to his wife, who was involved in a road accident on Thursday.
“I am happy that I won, but this victory is not as you guys [the media] interpret it. It was rather a rearrangement of a sitting system in our governors structure rather than having a loser or winner. In this instance, we remain so close in working together, not only with Keni, but all the other governors,” Dube said soon after being declared the winner.
“I have always said during the week that the PSL is a closely-knit family. It’s a body that makes collective decisions, meaning that at the end of the day, after what has just happened today, as far as we are concerned, there are no winners or losers.
“All I want to say is let’s unite and work for football in Zimbabwe and under these difficult times. It’s important that we work to preserve the dignity of the league, so that we keep the sponsors we have and attract more to join us.”
For Mubaiwa, who lost to Phiri in the previous PSL election, it’s time to focus on his club Dynamos as they try to reclaim the league’s bragging rights, having relinquished them to Chicken Inn after four consecutive years at the top.
“I am happy the governors have shown confidence in Dube to lead us for the next two years and I promise to support Dube throughout, so that at the end of the day, football is the winner. This is my second time losing in an election and I thought maybe this time, I had done well to prepare, but unfortunately, I lost,” Mubaiwa said.
He revealed that he was, by no means, deterred by the latest setback, adding he would keep on contesting for this position at every opportunity.
“The problem is that other governors are not interested in leading PSL. So you find that there are only two contestants each time there are elections, but with me, I will not stop. I will keep on trying. One day, I know it will be my turn.”
Even before the elections, there were tell-tale signs at the venue showing that Mubaiwa had an uphill task to upstage Dube — who appeared popular among the governors. Cracks of laughter followed him wherever he was at the venue.
Meanwhile, Mubaiwa cut a lone figure most of the time and looked rather tense and jittery, especially as he tried to mingle with governors from the south.
Retired High Court judge Sello Nare led the electoral committee, which also has Tendai Madzorera, Elizabeth Banda, Charles Sibanda, Tinopara Hove and Zifa chief executive officer Jonathan Mashingaidze.