Ray Bande Senior Reporter
ONE of the country’s four football zones – the Zifa Eastern Region – has thrown its weight behind its only representative in the December 1 Zifa national committee elections, Sugar Chagonda.
Premiership bound Manica Diamonds’ secretary-general Chagonda automatically became the face of the Eastern Region in the forthcoming Zifa elections after he emerged the only candidate with a link to the region following a vetting exercise by the Electoral Committee.
Chagonda will now battle it out for a place in the Zifa national board against Chapeta Stanley, incumbent president Philip Chiyangwa’s sidekick Chamunorwa Amos Rodrick Chiwanza, Philemon Machana, Bryton Brito Malandule, Barrymore Manandi in an election that will have four winners out of the six.
Chiyangwa and his deputy Omega Sibanda have already won another term in the Zifa presidium after they emerged as the only candidates nominated for the top two posts following the vetting exercise by the Electoral Committee. Zifa Eastern Region chairman, Davison Muchena who recently earned another term at the helm of his constituency, said his region was 100 percent behind Chagonda.
“As a region, we are happy that our candidate, Sugar Chagonda has made it to the final six. As Zifa councillors of the Eastern Region, we are 100 percent behind Chagonda. We have worked with him and we are aware of what he is capable of achieving.
“We have worked with him apart from his capacity as secretary general of a club in the region but also during the Diamond Super Cup. He is knowledgeable and trustworthy.
“Hopefully other councillors will see the wisdom of voting for him into the national board and add value to our game,” said Muchena.
Zifa Manicaland provincial chairman Kuziwa Nyabeze added his voice in support of Chagonda.
“Common sense dictates that we have to support Sugar Chagonda simply because he is the face of the entire region in this election. We have our hopes and aspirations as a region and we are pinning them on Chagonda to represent us. We are aware that he is capable of achieving that. It is not about merely supporting him because he is from our region but also the fact that he is a tried and tested administrator especially when it comes to marketing and public relations,” he said.
Zifa Masvingo provincial chairman Nobert Magwizi echoed Nyabeze’s sentiments saying Chagonda had vast experience in the public relations industry that would add value to the game of football in the country.
“There is no doubt that Chagonda has vast experience in the public relations industry that will add value to the game of football in the country. Zifa needs to cleanse its name given the history of negativity that has always been associated with the administration of the game.
“As members of the Eastern Region we also want Chagonda to be our representative in that national board. There are crucial decisions that will be made and we also need our man in there to look after our interests,” said Magwizi.
Chiyangwa was expected to be challenged by former Zifa board member Felton Kamambo, but the businessman will have it easy this time as he sails through unopposed, that is if the whole process is not challenged. Chiyangwa’s deputy, Sibanda, also retains his post, as he was nominated unopposed following the disqualification of Gift Banda, who had offered himself for election to the post.
“The Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) electoral committee met on November 2 2019 to verify credentials of candidates who submitted nomination forms for positions in the executive committee.
“The following candidates were successfully nominated to stand in the elections slated for December 1, 2018: president, Hon Dr Philip Chiyangwa, vice-president Hon Sibanda Omega, Executive Committee members – Sugar Chagonda, Chapeta Stanley, Chamunorwa Amos Rodrick Chiwanza, Philemon Machana, Bryton Brito Malandule, Barrymore Manandi.
“For those disqualified, reasons for disqualification will be communicated directly to the concerned individuals,” a statement by the electoral committee chairman Vusilizwe Vuma read.
However, the decision by the Electoral Committee has been met with resistance from Kamambo and Banda, who are both challenging modalities, which saw them getting disqualified.