Grace Chingoma Senior Sports Reporter
THE stage has been set for the boardroom battle today featuring Kenny Mubaiwa and Peter Dube for the right to lead the domestic Premiership. The leaders of the country’s two biggest clubs battle in a classic contest to replace Twine Phiri who was elbowed out by constitutional restrictions.
Phiri had been in charge of the PSL since 2010 and is credited with bringing on board a number of sponsors, including Delta Beverages to bankroll the country’s top-flight league.
Mubaiwa has urged the governors to vote wisely, give him a chance and has dangled a carrot to the clubs that he will assist them with some financial packages which, in the short-term, will prove beneficial.
And Dube, who was the PSL vice chairman, has called for continuity and believes stability will be key moving forward.
He believes his understanding of the systems at the Premier Soccer League will help the league to continue moving on a positive trajectory.
Yesterday ZIFA Electoral Committee vice chairman Tendai “Mr T” Madzorera said they were ready for the elections.
“The PSL elections will be held tomorrow (today) at Cresta Lodge and the Beach Soccer elections to select a vice chairman and two committee members are also on tomorrow at ZIFA House,” said Madzorera.
“On Sunday (tomorrow), it’s the Central Region elections for the chairperson post and the elections will be held at Bata Club in Gweru.
“The Eastern Region elections for the chairperson post will be at Chevron Hotel as well as elections for Masvingo Province to choose a new chairperson.
“We are ready for the elections and we have done all our preparations and everything is in place right now for the poll.”
In the Central Region three candidates are vying for the chairperson post — Whawha boss Musa Ntonga, Stanley Chapeta and former ZIFA board member Patrick Hokonya.
In the Eastern Region the battle is on between lawyer Ashel Mutungura and Davidson Muchena.
Yesterday Mubaiwa made the last call when he rallied the PSL Board of Governors to give him a chance to lead the league.
“The governors should vote wisely and trace my track record in which I achieved a lot with Dynamos even before our sponsor came on board and we didn’t have any support,” said Mubaiwa.
“Our sponsors BancABC then came on board and we have a good relationship which is still in existence.
“I will guard jealously the sponsorship packages that the league has at the moment and I will also seek to add more sponsors.
“I have been courting some sponsors who said they will partner me if I am voted into the office just like what ZIFA president (Philip Chiyangwa) did.
“In the remaining two years I pledge to do some reforms for the clubs and carry on the great work which was done by Twine Phiri and even raise the standards of the league to a higher level.”
The Harare businessman said he did not want a scenario where only a few clubs are viable and visible in the league.
He added that if elected he would engage stakeholders such as Zimbabwe Tourism Authority for special accommodation rates when clubs camp away from home.
Dube was appointed acting chairman last month when ZIFA revealed that Phiri’s mandate was revoked together with the old ZIFA board that was led by Cuthbert Dube and ordered a fresh election.
The Highlanders boss yesterday said he didn’t need to advertise himself and seemed confident the clubs will vote for him into the leadership position.
“From so many quarters we have heard how Twine Phiri has done so well with PSL. If I may have to subscribe to that, I would say let there be no slackening.
“We don’t want to see the league drop in standards. I was privileged to be part of the system.
“In my understanding I believe all governors are equal and I will call it a privilege if I am to win the election. I want to see fair play being exercised.
“No clubs should be taken as bigger than the other,” said Dube.
The two candidates, to their credit, have not plunged into a slanging match and have been complimentary of each other.
Dube, though, faces an election at Highlanders early next year and, in the event that he loses that poll, having won today, it also means that there will be another fresh election for the PSL leadership.