Gumede’s tribal remarks questioned

Sports Reporter

ndumisogumede28decHIGHLANDERS’ chief executive Ndumiso Gumede, banned from all football activities by ZIFA last week, was at Mandava yesterday and watched helplessly as his club’s bid to end 10 years of waiting for the league title was ended by FC Platinum who powered to a 3-0 victory over the Bulawayo giants.Gumede responded to the ban by warning the ZIFA leadership that they risk sparking a tribal war in football. But, after trouble erupted at Mandava, with Bosso fans raining missiles on the pitch after the home side doubled their lead, to effectively end Highlanders’ championship quest, questions are now being asked whether Gumede’s statements might have played a part in fanning the trouble.

FC Platinum coach Norman Mapeza needed treatment after being hit by a missile. Last week, Zimbabwe National Soccer Supporters Association leader, Eddie “Mboma” Nyatanga, sharply criticised Gumede for his fiery comments.

He questioned why Gumede, who was a leading figure in the ZIFA leadership under Cuthbert Dube, which was toppled by the Councillors last year, did not see the risk of sparking tribal wars in domestic football when they were suspending a number of officials from the game in a purge against dissent.

It has since emerged that the ZIFA leadership, of which Gumede was the vice-president, suspended more than 10 officials from Matabeleland.

Omega Sibanda then vice-president of ZIFA was suspended by the Dube leadership for refusing to endorse the $860 000 which the Association was said to owe to their leader, yet Gumede didn’t suggest this could spark tribal battles in the game.

“If you remember well, you will see that more than a dozen officials, players and coaches from Matabeleland were suspended by the Dube leadership, when Gumede was still the vice-president and yet he did not raise these issues that such action could provoke tribal conflicts in our football,” said a club leader who requested anonymity.

“Madinda Ndlovu and Rahman Gumbo both lost their jobs under questionable circumstances with the national team when Gumede was the second man in charge of ZIFA and yet he didn’t raise warnings that this could spark tribal wars in our football.

“Rahman is even fighting ZIFA up to this day for his dues and yet when he was kicked out of his job after coming within one match of qualifying for the 2015 AFCON, Gumede didn’t raise these tribal warnings.

“Was it because he was part of the leadership that was doing the sacking and because of that, everything was just fine? These guys are also Highlanders legends and Gumede appears to be saying that he is more important than them in terms of his tribal appeal.

“And they are not the only ones, from the southern part of the country who were given a raw deal because Musa Mandaza, Brighton Malandule, Dennis Tshuma, Tumediso Ndlovu, Gift Banda, Patrick Hokonya, Ernest Sibanda, Methembe Ndlovu, Zenzo Moyo and Patrick Hill were also suspended or banned along the way and yet we didn’t hear Gumede saying this could spark tribal wars in football.”

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