21 February 2013

Zimbabwe Football Trustees On National Duty, Ready for Challenges

ZIMBABWE Football Trustees have described their task to try and help Zifa turn on a new leaf as a national duty which they are eager to work on.

The Trustees who were commissioned in Harare yesterday will immediately assume Zifa's US$4 million debt, lead the campiagn to raise for funds for the Warriors' World Cup qualifying assignment against Egypt next month and drive an ambitous process to raise funds to be chanenled for development programmes.

Businessman Tshinga Dube, who is also the chairman of Marange Resources said they are ready to embrace the challenge that comes with the mandate they have been given by Zifa.

The Zifa debt has been accumulating over the years.

"When the pride of a nation is at stake, whether you are a professor, doctor or an engineer you have to defend your country and this is why we are here.

"This is a national duty.

"You can see the association is over-burdened with a US$4 million debt and we have to find ways to overcome that and that is why we have accepted it and we are here to do a job," said Tshinga Dube.

Zimbabwe Tourism Authority board chairperson Marah Hativagone, who is one of the Trustees acknwoledged the role being played by football in the country and noted that the game could become a significant contributor to the Gross Domestic Product if prioritised.

"We are glad to be here on board, we love soccer and have always watched soccer.

"Soccer is now playing a big part in the economy contributing a lot in the GDP of the economies of such countries like Spain and England and it could do the same here.

"We are here to assist the young men and women in sport and we are humbled and honoured," said Hativagone.

Businessman Phillemon Machana, who also own a club in the Women's Soccer League - Cosa Guruve - said the Trust would also try to instil confidence in the corporate world as there is a lot of mistrust following the issues such as the Asiagate scandal that tainted the game.

"It is more of a call to national duty. Our football has been in the decline and we believe in a small way we will contribute and we will add value by bringing people who have been on the fence as a lot has happened in our football.

"Our brief is to do that, some of us have been in football for some time and we hope there would be results. We have debts and have been given all the briefs.

"I also think the composition of the committee will help as it is a mixture of the young and energetic and the experienced persons," said Machana.

The board includes people with diverse business grounds and also has former footballer George Shaya.

Dynamos vice-chairman Webster Chikengezha has also been named on the Trust.

Mbada Diamonds chief executive Patience Khumalo, who is passionate about football and has through her company bailed the national team on numerous occasions, is also another influential member of the trust.

Former Douglas Warriors co-director and businessman Bernard Gwarada, Air Zimbabwe Acting group chief executive Innocent Mavhunga and businesswoman Barbra Chikosi and Solomon Cheure complete the list of Trustees.

Zifa, however indicated that they could name more Trustees.

Some of the Warriors fans who were also present at the commissioning ceremony also expressed hope that the Trust would help bring the smiles on the fans and preppare the groundwork that will help the Warriros qualify fo rthe 2015 African Cup of Nations in Morocco.

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