Ricky Zililo in BULAWAYO
CAPS United president Farai Jere has promised to improve the Premier Soccer League infrastructure, boost the welfare of the members and bring to an end the top-flight league’s boardroom wars with ZIFA if he is voted in as the chairman next month.
Jere and his Triangle United counterpart Lovemore Matikinyidze are vying for the PSL chairmanship at elections scheduled for September 9 in Harare.
Jere began his campaign in Bulawayo on Tuesday where he met Highlanders chairman Kenneth Mhlophe and Bulawayo City FC boss Jerry Sibanda.
He also met Chicken Inn and Bulawayo Chiefs’ proxies as part of his mission to convince them to vote for him next month.
Jere said he was happy with the meetings he held with the Bulawayo-based Premiership representatives and believes that the one-on-one campaign will not only help him send his message across to the voters but also win them their hearts and soul to vote for him.
“The meetings went very well with the four Bulawayo Premiership clubs. My campaign is very clear; most importantly what made me take the decision to go for this position is something that is not in the eyes of the public; it’s something that might shock you. How can we have a PSL without infrastructure?” said Jere.
“PSL is renting offices in Bulawayo and there’s cheap land. Why are we not motivated to build our own infrastructure? Look at the Premier League in South Africa, Botswana or Namibia.
‘’Look at their offices and those of the Zimbabwe PSL in Eastlea, Harare. It’s an eyesore. PSL is being operated like a briefcase business, but we talk about club licensing.
‘’Highlanders have better infrastructure than the PSL and to me there’s no professionalism without infrastructure development. We can’t have a league run by a fixture as if we’ve got competition officers in the office.
‘’We just come up with a fixture, we manage it up to the end of the year, but our balance sheet is very weak.
“We need to leave a legacy as a generation. If I’m given this tenure for four years, I want to make sure we leave a legacy by having infrastructure. Why are the guys in office for a long time not moved by infrastructure development?
‘’They don’t even care about it because at the end of the day if they get their salaries and allowances they don’t care.”
Jere said infrastructure included improving the working environment for PSL employees as well.
“Our workers need to have vehicles. For a long time our CEO worked without a company car until maybe two years ago. We also need to ensure clubs have infrastructure,” he said.
Jere also said he would address the perceived PSL and ZIFA clashes.
“Number two on my manifesto involves PSL and ZIFA statutes. I’ve never seen the level of despondency between ZIFA and PSL, it’s unheard of.
‘’I’ve never heard that about Danny Jordaan and Irvine Khoza in South Africa. They work well together even though PSL is independent of SAFA.
‘’Why is it that we (PSL and ZIFA) are having problems? To me, it’s an area I have to look at. If it’s an issue of the statutes or constitution, why can’t we amend the constitution to close gaps?” said Jere.
He believes if the PSL governors work together, the PSL stand to reap better results.
On his ill-fated attempt to go unchallenged as PSL chairman, Jere said they were unaware of the article that prohibits such an arrangement.
However, he said, he was happy that there was competition, this time around, to give the clubs the chance to decide the person they felt was the better candidate.
“When my form was signed last time by the guys who shouldn’t have done so, it was purely out of ignorance. I didn’t know about Section 38 of the Article (that an aspiring candidate has to be nominated by members of the PSL).
‘’I’m happy that this time around I’m getting in there with a competitor to sell our stories; what is it that we want to give to people. I’m here to leave a legacy.”
Jere heads to the Midlands to meet Chapungu, Nichrut, Shabanie Mine and FC Platinum leaders before heading to Ngezi today and Mutare tomorrow.
He will wrap up his campaign in Harare.