President Robert Mugabe yesterday came out guns blazing castigating Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) boss Cuthbert Dube for abusing funds — a development he said was worrying and must stop. He told the local football mother board president to stop the greediness and have conscience.
BY XOLISANI NCUBE
Speaking at the luncheon to mark the official opening of the third session of the eighth Parliament, Mugabe said although he did not believe the many allegations being made against Dube, people had told him that the former Premier Service Medical Aid Society boss was abusing football funds.
“We are saying we are not yet there, the cake is still small for people to share. When you take gate-takings from people who would have paid to watch soccer, where are you saying the money is coming from? You don’t even have the conscience of saying this is wrong, instead you are saying I am entitled to it. Haa, we are saying enough is enough to that kind of greediness, that we cannot have as a country,” he said.
Mugabe added: “I don’t believe it when I hear that Dube is taking money, but haa, this is worrying.”
Dube has been accused of bringing Zimbabwean football to its knees since he was first elected in 2010.
Since assuming office as Zifa boss, the national teams have been dogged by a plethora of problems, ranging from non-availability of funds, allowances, salaries for coaches, to failure by some national teams to fulfill away fixtures.
This has seen Under-20 players failing to fulfill matches and were banned from taking part in international competitions and received hefty fines following the bans.
His reign has seen Zimbabwe making history for the wrong reasons, becoming the first country since Fifa was formed to be expelled from World Cup qualifying rounds for failing to pay outstanding salaries to former Warriors coach Valinhos. As other countries battle it out in the 2018 Russia World Cup qualifiers, Zimbabwe will watch from the stands.
By the time Dube took over as Zifa boss, the association’s debt stood at $600 000, but since the businessman came into office, the debt has ballooned to a staggering $6 million.
To make matters worse, the Messenger of Court has become a regular figure at Number 53 Livingstone Avenue, Harare, as the association’s property has been auctioned time and again on the instruction of creditors.
Dube has also come under fire from fellow board members, who have questioned the way he and Zifa chief executive officer Jonathan Mashingaidze have turned the association into a two-man band.
Most of the Zifa board members, with the exception of Fungai Chihuri and John Phiri, claim they are sidelined from crucial meetings and key decisions of the association.
Several attempts to push Dube out have failed, with the next being a special meeting set for October 3, where another attempt to boot him will be made.
Zifa board member for finance Benard Gwarada, vice-president Omega Sibanda and Women’s Football boss Miriam Sibanda were kicked out of the association after they confronted Dube to clarify how he was using grants the association had received from Fifa. At one point, sometime this year, Dube also suspended chairmen of all the regions accusing them of working in cahoots with Sibanda and Gwarada in a plot to oust him.
However, the sun seems to be setting for the Zifa boss and his sidekicks, as arrests are said to be imminent after a section of football supporters reported the matter in which Dube and some of his board members are allegedly to have abused funds from the Warriors/Guinea Africa Cup of Nations qualifier match two Sundays ago.
Source : NewsDayZimbabwe