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Afcon bid divides Zifa board

A storm is brewing within the Zifa board over the current Afcon bid.

By our staff

Some board members, including Zifa vice-president Omega Sibanda, are accusing Zifa president Cuthbert Dube and Zifa chief executive officer Jonathan Mashingaidze of running the association as their own entity.

In an email dated September 22 sent to Mashingaidze, the Zifa vice-president ripped into Mashingaidze, accusing him of not respecting the existence of the board and the assembly.

Read part of the letter, “It’s high time you start respecting the Board and the Assembly. I am reliably informed that you have already travelled to Zambia together with representatives from the Ministry of Tourism. You have appointed a bid committee of people whom we don’t know. Who are they, whose interest are they serving, who chose them and on what merit?”

Sibanda also questioned how some of the people that involved in preparing the bid document found their way into the committee.

Another board member who refused to be named for fear of victimisation said it was better for the other board members to resign and let the two run their own show.

“We have been used to endorse some of the things by our so-called bosses but at the end of the day they do not recognise us. They do most of the association’s business away from other board members but when things go wrong, they come back to the board for help.”

Zifa communications manager Xolisani Gwesela was quick to defend the stance that both Mashingaidze and Dube took in terms of the 2017 Afcon bid.

“At the moment, there is no bid committee in place. The committee will only be announced anytime from now when the minister of Sport, Arts and Culture Andrew Langa is back in the country. The board will comprise the chairman, his deputy and 10 committee members.

“There will be sub-committees that will include security, transport, infrastructure and facilities, finance and administration, marketing and communication and the inter-ministerial co-ordination committee,” Gwesela said.

However, documents made available to this publication suggest that there is no way the bid document could have been done without the involvement of people from the mentioned ministries.

One of the documents from the Confederation of African Football (CAF) requires government guarantees signed by the President of the country, two guarantees from the Ministry of Home Affairs with one of them dealing with immigration issues and the other one on public security.

Another guarantee document should come from the Ministry of Finance on taxation and foreign exchange issues. The Ministry of Media, Information and Broadcasting Services also has to give surety to do with media and broadcasting issues.

The fifth guarantee should come from the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology Postal and Courier Services which needs to give assurance that the country has sufficient ICT facilities.

The bid should also be accompanied by supporting letters from the Ministry of Health and Child Care to guarantee that the country has high health standards, while the Ministry of Sport, Arts and Culture should also guarantee that the country has enough sporting facilities.

The Ministry of Tourism and Hospitality also has to guarantee that there are enough hotels to accommodate visitors during the hosting of such a mega event.

Also obligatory is a supporting letter from the Ministry of Public Works outlining whether the country has enough sporting facilities to host the event, while the Ministry of Transport would also need to guarantee there would be an efficient transport system.

Above all, the host cities should sign Host City Agreements to demonstrate their willingness to host the continental football showpiece.

“In brief, what I am saying is the involvement of all these people from different ministries was above board. It’s actually a CAF prerogative. All the guarantees that we have talked about is (sic) the oil that drives the bidding machine,” Gwesela said.

CAF clearly states that all these ministries should forward a representative in the bidding committee.

The bid document was supposed to be completed as of yesterday with Mashingaidze expected to travel to present the document at the CAF headquarters in Cairo, Egypt today.

Meanwhile, six prominent sports personalities will be chosen to be bidding ambassadors during the course of the bidding process.

Some of the names that quickly come to mind include Warriors legend Peter Ndlovu, the queen of the pool, Kirsty Coventry, golfer Nick Price and Benjani Mwaruwari, to mention just a few.

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