Takudzwa Chitsiga Sports Reporter
WILLARD Manyengavana’s long run at the helm of the ZIFA Northern Region board will come under its biggest test tomorrow when he squares off against former FIFA referee Brighton Mudzamiri in an intriguing election scheduled for ZIFA Village in Mt Hampden.
Manyengavana has previously sailed through the Northern Region elections with ease.
But a bullish Mudzamiri, who is confident of upsetting the apple-cart, has mounted in a fresh challenge in which he is hoping to shake what has been a familiar establishment in the Northern Region, which includes Manyegavana’s trusted lieutenants — vice chairman Martin Kweza and board members Sweeney Mushonga, Robert Mamvura and John Remba.
Mudzamiri has been running his campaign trail in the Northern Region, where he has sold his manifesto to most of the electorate. The policeman, who has also been with the Premier Soccer League fighting violence in the game through conducting workshops on stadium security, believes he has a lot to offer to the region if he wins the mandate.
“I am very confident that come Sunday I will be the new ZIFA Northern Region chairman. I think I have a lot in my manifesto which will improve the league.
“We have so many things that I believe need to be corrected, like to have audited financial statements, a constitution, as well as to secure sponsorship. There is need to value transparency and we will be a responsible leadership who will listen to every stakeholder,” said Mudzamiri.
But an equally upbeat Manyengavana has already declared the poll a done deal even before the first ballot has been cast.
Manyengenava said he was confident that this executive would be retained en masse.
“I think together with my executive, we are home and dry in as far as the elections are concerned as we are looking at nothing short of victory. We have worked very hard to see Northern Region to be where it is today and we need to finish the job.
“We are prepared for the election and I have faith in the clubs that they will give us another chance. The teams know very well how we performed ever since we came into office and I believe they still have confidence in us.
“If the elections are about football administration, I am quite sure that we have already won, but if it’s something else, then I will not know,” said Manyengavana.
Although there are four regions in ZIFA structures, this weekend’s elections will only be in the Northern and Southern parts. There will be no elections in the Eastern and Central Regions where Davison Muchena and Stanley Chapeta were handed fresh mandates unopposed.
Just like Manyengavana, veteran administrator and easily the longest-serving regional chairman Musa Mandaza faces a tough challenge from former Highlanders secretary Andrew Tapela in the Southern Region election.
ZIFA Regional Elections candidates:
Mudzamiri Brighton (chairperson), Manyengavana Willard (chairperson), Chitongo Douglas (vice chairperson), Kweza Martin Takawira (vice chairperson), Zironzo Tichaona (executive committee member), Makunda Hastings (executive committee member), Marumisa Lawrence (executive committee member), Matumbura Ovidio (executive committee member), Mushonga Sweeney (executive committee member), Nyachowe Stanslous Runyararo (executive committee member), Remba John Stuart (executive committee member), Mamvura Robert (executive committee member), Kufandarerwa Warren Ratidzai (executive committee member)
Tapela Andrew Thabani (chairperson), Mandaza Musa (chairperson), Madhunguza Gaylord (vice chairperson), Thebe Mehluli (executive committee member), Luphahla Tizirayi Edmond (executive committee member), Malandule Bryton Briton (executive committee member), Siziba Sifiso (executive committee member), Mwanda Mubita (executive committee member), Ndlovu Tumediso Mkwena (executive committee member).