"I AM proud to be African not because I was born in Africa but because of the Africa in me", once said Dr Kwame Nkrumah. This is my guiding principle when it comes to my country Zimbabwe. The state of our football has damaged our national pride.
As I watch the Afcon games, one question that keeps coming to my mind is that if Togo, Cape Verde and Ethiopia can make it to Africa's biggest football event, why can't we do the same?
We need to restore back the national pride in our national game.
This is no longer about Cuthbert Dube but it's about our country Zimbabwe.
Dube has publicly acknowledged that he will be standing for re-election come 2014.
Whether we like him or not, the current councillors will certainly give him a second mandate to run our football up to 2018.
Condemnation is no longer an option.
The only option left for us as Zimbabweans is for all stakeholders to put our heads together and come up with solutions on how best we can save our football and salvage the Zimbabwe "that is in us".
The first option is to temporarily suspend our participation in international football matches and direct our energy towards the Under-20 and Under-17 teams, that's assuming we would have survived a ban from Caf for failing to fulfil our youth international fixtures.
If Zifa is not willing to voluntarily go this route then our Government should intervene, even at the risk of attracting a ban from Fifa.
There has to be a price that must be paid to bring an end to this madness, and kick-start the development phase, and if that price is a ban from Fifa, for a number of years, then so be the case.
After all, when you look at it realistically, we are unlikely to do anything of note, especially moving in the current direction that we have taken, in the next two or three years.
We have to sacrifice for the sake of our future generation and if that sacrifice could be a year or two in international isolation, having been banned by Fifa, let that be the case.
During that sabbatical period, a management committee, comprising some of the best football brains that Zimbabwe has, should be appointed to temporarily run our football. We have the likes of former top referee and successful businessman Anthony Mandiwanza, Engineer Lincoln Mutasa, former chairman of Dynamos, Cecil Gombera, a business executive with a passion for football, to name but just a few of these guys.
To allow for the injection of new ideas, and fresh thinking, anybody who was in football administration during the last five years should not be part of this dispensation.
Zimbabwe has some of the best marketing brains in the world as evidenced by some of our people heading international organisations such as Coca Cola.
A marketing committee, comprising of some of our best marketing brains who may not necessarily be football people, should be tasked to spearhead the rebranding exercise which should start by renaming the organization (Football Association of Zimbabwe) FAZ.
With funds permitting, the Head Office should relocate from No. 53 Livingstone if it would not have been liquidated by debtors by then. Zifa has not been transparent with its finances and that is a major problem.
Even the Mzansi 2013 funds were not publicly accounted for despite promises to do so at the time it was launched.
In order to attract the confidence of the public and corporate sectors, Zifa should publish their audited accounts for 2012.
Such an audit would throw some light into the true financial position of the organisation, in particular, and how they ended up indebted to Cuthbert Dube for over half a million dollars, approaching a million as I write. After a clean-up of these hygienic factors, a fund-raising committee comprising of respectable and successful business people should be tasked to fund-raise for the newly re-branded organisation.
Their mandate should also include engaging Government with a view for them to assist financially.
On the initiative to develop the Under-20s and Under-17s, we should set up a committee comprising of representatives from NASH and our best coaches.
Each province will have a Provincial coach and his assistants.
Inter-provincial competitions will be the forum for identifying of talent for national teams. The corporate world will certainly support such an initiative of rebuilding our national team.
These committees that I have identified, if made up of high-profile individuals, will certainly turn around our football.
Asiagate, despite its initial good intentions should be put to bed, it is now a discredited exercise which is not adding any value to our football.
Continuing with the current business as usual mentality will spell doom for our football, the consequences of which will be "too ghostly to contemplate."
Chris Sambo is a former Premier Soccer League chief executive. Last year he was the co-ordinator of the hugely successful RG Mugabe Under-20 soccer tournament.