Cuthbert Dube

Exit Cuthbert Dube: Now leta��s deal with the real legacy of our football problems

Noel Munzabwa
THE a�?historica�? decision by football councilors to boot out the entire Cuthbert Dube led Zifa Board may not be the full prescription to a legacy of our problems in the game as some of them have been recurrent through different boards.

In actual fact, last Saturdaya��s decision saw history repeating itself with Dube joining the growing list of football leaders in trash cans which has seen sharp acrimonious departure claiming all past elected leaders since the vote of no confidence on the John Madzima board at the dawn of independence.

History is better tolerated when it brings smiles, but for Dube, his firing from the Zifa presidency on Saturday further extended a curse that has claimed all elected post independent football association heads.

Perhaps the former PSMAS CEO, when throwing his re-election bid in 2014 might have probably seen himself breaking the curse but alas the football electoral college had other ideas throwing Dube into the trash cans of rejected football association heads.

The contentious and thorny a�?vote of no confidencea�? now largely known as the a�?revoking of mandatea�? clause has claimed the scalps of pre-independence leader John Madzima, Trevor Carelse Juul, Nelson Chirwa, Leo Mugabe and Rafiq Khan with Wellington Nyatanga chickening out after being threatened with a vote of no confidence ahead of his second bid.

Notably, all these are the above leaders of football that had come through a ballot with only interim heads either beaten in elections or preferring not to stand for election to become substantive leaders.

This least of interims has Moroni Mushambadope, Vincent Pamire and Wyatt Mpofu among them. Mushambadope was the interim leader after the Madzima led executive was booted out after Super League clubs saw sense in Highlandersa�� 1978 rebellious withdrawal from the league protesting against the executive according to archive material obtained from last yeara��s Ndumiso Gumede farewell interview.

a�?It was in 1978 when I got promoted to become the Highlanders chairman. That year the club had rebelled against the John Madzima-led national executive over the way the championship had been won by Dynamos.

a�?It was at the end of 1980, I got a call from a guy called Jokonya who was in the Ministry of Sport. Jokonya told me that I had been nominated to be on the interim Zifa leadership led by Moroni Mushambadope.

Mushambadope was replaced by the legendary Nelson a�?Jumbo Jeta��a�� Chirwa, three months later.

a�?In 1987 there were big problems at Zifa and Trevor Carelse-Juul was the chairman. The problems caused the Zifa patron and former President Canaan Banana to go around looking for names that people wanted to lead Zifa and the people demanded that Chirwa should be chairman and I was to be vice-chairman while Julius Chifokoyo was secretary,a�? added Gumede.

Chirwaa��s reign was to be cut short after revelations of a previous criminal conviction led to a vote of no confidence and in came Trevor Carelse Juul.

Juul, the former Bulawayo Wanderers coach was to bounce back as Zifa chairman in the early 1990s.

In 1992, the Trevor Carelse-Juul-led Zifa administration had begun the project of crafting the Warriors into a formidable unit that eyed qualification for the 1994 World Cup.

That year, Caresle-Juul and his executive hired Fabisch through a bilateral arrangement with the German government.

During Carelse-Juula��s tenure which quite unusually lasted just over a year, the Warriors lost once in 13 Afcon and World Cup crammed qualifying matches, but he was pushed out of Zifa while Zimbabwe was firmly on course to make history.

Then Carelse-Juul had fallen out with the Sports and Recreation Commission for failing to remit levies from gate takings at a time when the Warriors used to stack the National Sports Stadium to the brim with fans.

He believed that money needed to be invested in the team.

Shortly after his unceremonious departure, Zimbabwe narrowly missed qualification for the World Cup and Afcon.
The dream had collapsed.

a�?The Sports Commission tried to cite maladministration. They did everything they could. Their interference was going to attract sanctions from Fifa and I did not want that. I did the honourable thing and resigned.

a�?We were on the verge of qualifying for the World Cup after beating the likes of Egypt and Cameroon at home and being suspended by Fifa was going to disturb us. I could not stand in the way of the team and I resigned so that we did not get suspended. It was a sad moment considering what I had built with my team.a�?

Leo Mugabe had taken over as Zifa boss from an interim executive headed by the late Brian Harry after Carelse-Juul had stepped down and concentrated on his architecture business.

Mugabe was at the helm for 10 years, the longest by any administrator in the countrya��s 35 years of football in independent Zimbabwe.

The entry into the new millennium, the contentious clause claimed another scalp with Leo Mugabe being jettisoned out of the Zifa leadership with Vincent Pamire holding fort in the interim until 2004 elections which brought in Khan.

Khan faced a humiliating exit from mainstream football administration a�� just 36 days after taking over the most powerful post in the association a�� in the wake of stunning revelations that he was convicted of a criminal offence 12 years before assuming office.

The Harare businessman, who had been in charge of the Premier Soccer League before his elevation to the Zifa chairmanship had to quit his post because of constitutional restrictions which disqualify board members with criminal convictions.

In came Wyatt Mpofu as an interim option to usher an election that brought in Wellington Nyatanga.

As Nyatanga was fancying second term bid, the Asiagate saga bolted out into public domain with councilors threatened a vote of no confidence on him had he gone ahead with his bid.

a�?Shumbaa�? as he is affectionately known bowed out allowing Dube to win the 2010 election.

As may be known by now the Dube has also come to an acrimonious end leaving the nation speculating on potential replacements ahead of the December 5 election.

But whoever it is that will win the election (or perhaps interested in running for election) should bear in mind the land mine filled history of the presidency (then chairmanship until 2010) which has dotted our football since independence.

He or she, will have to know that though Dube had his own problems but not all soccer problems went down with him and he or she will have to be very charismatic in the approach.