ZIMBABWE – PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe seems to have set the tone for Zifa president Cuthbert Dube’s departure from the national association when he laid into him for the alleged abuse of funds from the Africa Cup of Nations qualifier played against Guinea two weeks ago.
Zifa reported massive gate takings of $88 000 but then made a loss of $12 000 amid revelations that four board members paid themselves $4000 from the day’s gate takings at Rufaro Stadium on September 6.
A donation of $20 000 from prophet Magaya was not reflected in the books while Zifa says it paid $3000 to Herentals College for buses for both Zimbabwe and Guinea, yet the institution claims it was not paid.
A Harare businessman also offered $12 000 for the purchase of tickets for the Warriors foreign based players and, according to the books, he has been reimbursed, but he claims he has not received the money.
A Zifa extra-ordinary meeting is set for October 3 at Zifa Village in Mt Hampden and the revoking of Dube’s mandate is top of the agenda.
A supporters group, led by Bulawayo based businessman Eddie Chivero and aligned to some of Dube’s strongest critics, has laid fraud charges against the national association following the Guinea match.
Speaking at the luncheon to mark the official opening of the third session of the eighth Parliament on Tuesday, Mugabe, who made a shocking blunder of reading an old August 25 speech, said he did not believe the many allegations being made against Dube, but 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 is one of richest persons in Zimbabwe and says has ploughed over $1 million into the game since coming into office on March 27, 2010. At PSMAS, he was reportedly earning $500 000 a month until he was ousted last year.
For long, Zifa has been seen as a Zanu PF tool with past leaders like Leo Mugabe, Wellington Nyatanga and Henrietta Rushwaya known party functionaries.
It was during the 2006-2010 era of Nyatanga and Rushwaya that Zimbabwe was plunged into a massive match fixing scandal where various and dubious national teams were sent to play pre-arranged matches in Asia.
About 15 officials, including Rushwaya, were banned for life after an investigation while 89 players were also suspended for taking part in the fixed games.
Some, like former national coach Sunday Chidzambwa, have been cleared and are back in local football coaching.
Dube has responded by summoning his board to an emergency meeting on
Wednesday to discuss the Guinea debacle.
The current board is made up of Dube, Fungai Chihuri, Tawengwa Hara and John Phiri. Twine Phiri also sits on the board by virtue of being Premier Soccer League chairman.
Three other board members: vice president Omega Sibanda, Mirriam Sibanda and Bernard Gwarada were axed for attempting to oust Dube in an unconstitutional meeting in May.