Zifa should learn to function without Dube

The Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) president Cuthbert Dube is indeed a kind, wealthy, innovative and philanthropic man.

To date, he has sunk over half a million United States dollars in rescuing the penniless association whenever they faced financial problems. It’s not easy to entrust all that money into an organisation reeling under penury, so that makes him a courageous man too.

Zifa has virtually failed to function in his absence and that explains the national Under-20 team’s failure to travel to Angola for the African Youth Championships second leg match two months ago. The Young Warriors had lost 1-0 in the first leg. Dube was not in the country and the football governing body had no one to turn to.
The team now faces a heavy fine from the Confederation of African Football (CAF), as well as sanctions.

In the current Mzansi90 campaign where a committee was set up to mobilise money for the Warriors’ trip to Angola for the second leg of the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations final qualifier, Dube’s company Buymore Investments, has already donated US$5 000. It has also pledged bonuses for the team if they qualify for the finals scheduled for South Africa next January.

That is a good gesture, but I have a problem with the operations of the association. It seems Zifa is now a one-man band show and all processes are paralysed if that man is not there.

Therein lies the problem.

Zifa must function in the same way as other corporates do, working with sustainable systems in place. In the absence of the Zifa president, the association must be viable, like any other company.
It is improper for Dube to continue pumping out his money into the association without creating an environment that is self-sustainable, chief being the ability to attract sponsorship.

Zifa can easily generate sponsorship by coming up with good corporate practices and sound marketing documents that snare sponsors. Football is the easiest vehicle to capture sponsorship because of its huge following, but that cannot happen when there is a bad image.

Across the Limpopo in South Africa, the South Africa Football Association (Safa) is dripping with sponsors and one wonders why Zifa can’t do the same.

Safa have under their belts Puma as their kit supplier, Absa Bank and Castle Lager as their major sponsors for their senior team Bafana Bafana, while Mercedes Benz is their official carrier transport-wise. Safa also have SAB Miller and Sasol who take care of their youth, regional and women’s teams. We have never heard that their president Kirsten Nematandani used his money to bail out Bafana Bafana because they have functional systems that position Safa as a sound corporate structure.

That is exactly what Zifa should strive to establish and abandon this scenario where Dube is Zifa and Zifa is Dube. It is an outdated way of running an organisation. Zifa must employ the right people who can revive its fortunes while at the same time adopting modern ways in its operations.

By the way, Zifa does not have a website in this day and age. My foot.

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