It’s an end of an era. Cuthbert Dube’s reign as Zifa president came to an end on Saturday when he was fired with immediate effect at an extra-ordinary general meeting (EGM) held at Prince Edward High School.
BY Brian Nkiwane
Dube was in the second year of his second term, having retained the hot seat last year. On Friday night, the former Premier Service Medical Aid group chief executive officer had announced his resignation and promised to vacate the seat on December 5 to avoid creating a leadership vacuum.
But councillors would have none of it, probably taking lessons from Fifa where president Sepp Blatter is reneging on the promises he made to step down in the new year.
The 54 councillors who attended the Zifa meeting did not buy Dube’s story as they believed he was selling them a dummy so he could buy time to launch a comeback.
In reaching the decision to push Dube out, the general assembly, with the assistance of four Fifa representatives, had to conduct a secret ballot vote where 51 voted for Dube to go with immediate effect while three sympathised with the administrator.
December 5 — the day that Dube had wanted to leave office — was then set for the next Zifa elections.
The councillors will for the next 60 days be forced to dine with an enemy — embattled Zifa CEO Jonathan Mashingaidze.
Constitutionally, Mashingaidze will, starting from yesterday, be running the Zifa show until the elections. Councillors have in the past clashed with Mashingaidze, whom they viewed as the brains behind Dube’s continued stay at the helm of the association.
Speaking to journalists after the meeting, Dube said he had run his race and it was time he rested.
“As you can see, I am a happy man. It’s actually better for me now, I will get a bit of rest. I have run my race and it’s for others to take over. I have no hard feelings whatsoever. What I know is I have left a bit of legacy in that the Zifa Village was completed from nothing,” Dube said.
Having lost his Waterfalls house on Friday over a Zifa debt, Dube did not mince his words, making it clear that he would knock at Zifa’s door to get his money back.
“As I speak, I have this agreement, the association owes me $918 049,30 and I will be knocking at their doors as early as tomorrow,” he said.
Mashingaidze was mandated, as per the Zifa constitution to work hand-in-hand with the Zifa electoral committee to see to it that the elections were conducted and a new board put in place.
His tough assignment begins with the national team playing Lesotho in the Chan competition, both home and away, as well as the Mighty Warriors who are away in Cameroon for their last qualifying round for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
Also discussed at yesterday’s EGM was the fate of three suspended board members — vice-president Omega Sibanda, board member finance Benard Gwarada and women football boss Miriam Sibanda.
Fifa representative, Ashford Mamelodi said the trio was part of the board whose mandate had been revoked, which meant they were also fired.
He could, however, not explain whether they would be eligible to stand in the upcoming elections.
But councillors said they should be allowed to contest.
“Now that the people that have been holding cases against them are gone, they will be free to contest in the upcoming election, that is if they submit their papers accordingly,” said one councillor.