Concerned football stakeholders told IndependentSport that the elections may turn out to be a huge farce if the “people entitled to vote allow themselves to be embedded by the candidates”.
“Some of the candidates have been openly jostling. There could be serious voter buying. They have been promising some corruptible councillors heaven on earth,” said a well-placed source.
The Zifa council, a grouping of stakeholders in Zimbabwean football, elects the Zifa president and his board.
The campaign has also been hit by politicking. Last week the Zifa board suspended chief executive Henrietta Rushwaya only to reverse the decision two days later saying it was not procedural.
Sources told this paper that Rushwaya’s short-lived suspension was plotted by out-going members who are hoping to be retained on the new board. The members did this to “impress the SRC and councillors”.
Rushwaya had been suspended to pave way for internal investigations into the national team’s tour of Malaysia in December that was not sanctioned by the SRC.
The new SRC board headed by Bulawayo lawyer Joseph James summoned the Zifa top brass over the trip, one of several the Warriors have made to Southeast Asia.
Meanwhile, the much-anticipated sweeping changes across Zimbabwean football appear to have hit a snag.
For the Zifa presidency, all signs are now pointing to a two-horse race between Premier Medical Aid Society (PSMAS) chief executive Cuthbert Dube and City of Harare PR manager Leslie Gwindi, who both have previously been involved in football administration.
This week, former PSL boss Tapiwa Matangaidze withdrew his candidature and threw his weight behind Dube.
Dube, who lost the election to outgoing president Wellington Nyatanga four years ago, appear to be the favourite. But Gwindi — a former Dynamos and PSL official — has somehow come back into the picture as a serious contender.
In fact it is former player Charlie Jones who will be running under the banner of the Zimbabwe Football Legends body, who has fallen down the ladder.
The ex-footballers started brightly at the inception of their association in December, but their campaign seems to have lost steam after declaring to take over the administration of Zimbabwean football across the board.
The post of Zimbabwe Women Soccer league chairperson went to Mavis Gumbo, a PSMAS employee.
Gumbo came into the public eye as an organiser for the state-sponsored music “galas” that became a part of Zimbabwe’s social scene a few years ago. She was a Zanu PF candidate in a Harare ward in the 2008 harmonised general elections.
Long-serving soccer administrator Zivanai Chiyangwa retained his post as Zimbabwe Junior Football League chairman.