I will not quit: Dube

ZIFA president Cuthbert Dube says he will not resign from his post despite attacks from some discredited football administrators and concerted efforts to have the Sport, Arts and Culture minister disband his board.

WELLINGTON TONI
SPORTS EDITOR

Such an action from the minister would attract an immediate ban from world football governing body, Fifa.

Speaking to our sister paper NewsDay Sport yesterday, Dube said the Zifa general assembly elected him to the post and if they felt he was not performing according to expectations, they should say so.

“I will not resign at all,” he said.

“I was voted into office by more than 76% of the electorate and the same are going to push me out or the Sports and Recreation Commission. I have done nothing wrong.

“I have pumped in a lot of my personal resources into the game, which should have been the duty of the government. A lot of Fifa projects that were being mismanaged have taken off during my time. We are in good books with Fifa and I even sit on one of their committees.”

He added: “It is the government’s responsibility to fund national teams because they do not belong to Zifa, but to Zimbabwe. However, I have pumped in my money and national teams have never been neglected at all. We don’t have the resources as Zifa and we are always begging for the government to assist us because this is not about individuals, but national business.”

Dube said, the ministry had been inundated by petitions from former administrators who wanted to unconstitutionally take over the running of the game.

One such organisation is run by Francis Zimunya and Paddington Japajapa which wrote a petition to Langa to disband the Zifa board and install a “normalisation committee”.

The pair selected their own people to the so-called “normalisation committee”, but the majority of the proposed people said they were not aware of the petition.

Last week, an unsigned memo was allegedly written by some board members and addressed to Dube and his deputy Omega Sibanda. But some of the board members interviewed said they were not aware of it.

At the weekend, Sport, Arts and Culture deputy minister Tabetha Kanengoni Malinga waded into the debate arguing that Fifa’s strict rule of no government interference in football was killing the game.

It has proven time and again that countries that normally defy Fifa’s rule invest in their national teams, hence they can demand results and accountability.

But in the case of Zimbabwe where the government has turned a blind eye to football but continued to demand results, they have no leg to stand on.

Early next month, Dube added, Zifa will convene an extraordinary board and assembly meeting to put all issues before their august house.

“The meetings will be next month and those that wrote the memo must identify themselves so that we present the case to the assembly for debate and the way forward,” he said.

“Some board members have said they were not involved in its authorship since it was unsigned, so we want the assembly to take note of that.”

On the forthcoming All-Africa, Olympic Games, 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers (which begin in June) and 2018 World Cup qualifiers (starting in October), Dube said they were mobilising $2 million, but would still continue talking to the government for financial assistance.

“We are trying to raise $2 million from certain quarters, but we are talking to the government to make a supplementary budget to support our national teams.”

Young Warriors coach Kalisto Pasuwa will today meet with Dube and chief executive officer Jonathan Mashingaidze to plan for the qualifiers.

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