Chiyangwa Launches Bid For ZIFA Presidency

HARARE businessman Philip Chiyangwa has formally launched his bid for the ZIFA presidency, promising to bring light to a game that has been staggering in the darkness for years, restoring transparency and using it to bring smiles on the faces of millions of Zimbabweans. In typical Chiyangwa style, where glamour is never far away, his announcement was pregnant with his incredible tale of how he rose from a poor boy who used to roam the streets of Chegutu to become one of the most successful businessmen in the country, who had the privilege of being granted company by the late global music superstar, Michael Jackson.

For weeks, speculation had been rife that Chiyangwa was set to launch an audacious bid for the ZIFA presidency, vacated by Cuthbert Dube, who was forced out by councillors who felt he had lost the plot to lead them amid chaos on the domestic football scene, but the flamboyant businessman had maintained that he was still consulting a number of people.

But, yesterday, he ended all that speculation with an announcement that he had decided to run for the top post in Zimbabwe football. Chiyangwa also circulated a video, shot yesterday, where he is seen in the company of CAPS United president Farai Jere who revealed on Thursday that he has been receiving overwhelming requests from the domestic football family to consider becoming the ZIFA president.

Jere told journalists in Harare that he was consulting a number of people, who matter in his life, before deciding whether or not to plunge into the battle for the ZIFA presidency.

In the video, Jere says that, after holding a meeting with Chiyangwa, he had decided to support the Harare businessman in his bid for the ZIFA presidency with the CAPS United boss saying he will now consider going for the post in 2018. Jere said he did not believe in fighting against people he considered to be his brothers.

“I would like to make an announcement that I’m going to be the campaign manager for Dr Phil Chiyangwa. He is the one who is (running) for the ZIFA presidency for these coming two years,” Jere is heard saying in the video.

“He wants to take our football out of the mess, he sold this story to me, there has been a lot of speculation that either one of us was going to be the ZIFA president, so I would like to announce that Dr Phil, Dr Philip Chiyangwa, is going to come in and clean the mess and, then, his young brother (Jere) will come in after 2018.”

Chiyangwa then thanks Jere for supporting his candidature.

“Thank you very much and thanks for supporting me, the fact that you are going to be my campaign manager is also a good thing for so many people who know your experience in football administration and who have seen you take CAPS out of the woods and bring it to be a club that is beginning to receive very good (publicity).

“Be the campaign manager who brings results, hatidi kudyiwa, unoziva tikadyiwa tiri two, ne sitaera dzedu, tapera.” Jere then responds by saying he would deliver. “Thank you very much for acknowledging what we have done for football and I promise you my maximum support.” Chiyangwa also released “The Twelve Points of Light”, which he says will form the foundation of his bid to become the next ZIFA president.

It is based on:

1 – Restoration of constitutional democracy and transparency in the affairs of ZIFA and the hiring of a crack cadre of professional dedicated staff.

2 – Expunging of legacy debt through creative national and international fund-raising initiatives

3 – Aggressive development of grassroots soccer structures and competitive corporate sponsorship matching for the Premier Soccer League, Reserve League, First Division, Second Division, Third Division, and Social Soccer League.

4 – Streamlining and encouragement of the creation of more sports and soccer academies through the lobbying or appropriate tax credits/incentives from the fiscus

5 – Creation of a professional soccer player’s welfare fund that will guarantee salaries, create life, work, health and disability insurance policies for the same and guarantee special dispensation with NSSA for sports programs given the short working life of professionals

6 – Creating certainty and an ongoing revenue stream for the association by acquiring appropriate and permanent lodgings for the national team, and visiting teams.

7 – Lobbying for the securing of loan programs for all national team players through a sinking fund from the line ministries of youth, indigenisation and economic empowerment, NSSA and Ministry of Sport and Recreation.

8 – Guaranteeing competitive professional contracts/fees for our national coaches and players and ensuring uniform standards for all structures.

9 – Ensuring that soccer is accorded a special national healing status, a vehicle of cultural cohesion/exchange and a dynamic platform for our ongoing diplomatic push for international positive “perception management”.

10 – Aggressive gender mainstreaming of professional soccer through the promotion and development of a women’s professional league with competitive compensation to attract soccer and sports in general as a viable career choice for the girl-child. Women’s Football structures are only manifest at the Senior Level with no accompanying operational structures to mirror the men’s leagues. Sponsorship issues around women’s soccer development are the missing link in terms of achieving full equity.

11 – Introduction of innovative business advisory on the sweating of our existing soccer and sports assets through naming rights, and taking our value to the regional and global market place though incisive and competitive corporate sponsorships.

12 – Ensuring that all our professional players have decent housing and transport befitting of their special status as our pre-eminent cultural ambassadors. I will bring the fun and integrity back into soccer by investing into it rather than taking from it, and my business hallmark has been about boldly and innovatively shaking things up while staying in touch with the nerve of common community welfare and needs. Through soccer I will help Zimbabwe breathe and smile again.

Chiyangwa also gave a detailed account of himself, from his humble roots on the dusty streets of Chegutu in 1959, to becoming one of the country’s most successful businessmen, saying his battle to turn himself into a success story will come handy if he gets the chance to transform domestic football.

“A lot of people have been curious as to what got me started in the pursuit of business, and I must say with all due respect and honesty my late mother, a Guta raJehovah religious devotee, was my early inspiration and great teacher in all that needs to be known about buying and selling, which by and large crystallises my early interests and growing engagements in all manner of entrepreneurship,” Chiyangwa said.

“It is from my dad that I absolutely got the full spirited approach to life and everything I get the opportunity to be blessed enough to be a part of.

“It was from vegetable vending that I got to understand the intricacies of trading, interacting with customers, profitably delivering and managing their expectations and an unfettered understanding of the human mind around organised enterprise. “It is from human behaviour that one understands and gets to glean the basis of consumptive choices.”

Chiyangwa says he rose from being a poor “garden boy” for a Portuguese family into one of the success stories of the Zimbabwe business community and, all the time, fighting for the cause of his fellow black businessmen so that they, too, should be empowered. He said taking on challenges has always been a big part of his life.

“In a memorable public international coup for Zimbabwe I improbably organised the fabled King of Pop Michael Jackson’s visit to Zimbabwe in 1998,” said Chiyangwa. “I am not a new arrival to success not a stranger to controversy but, through the convoluted road, I have acquired fame in the eyes of the public and its unquenchable voyeuristic thirst which has never been far away.

“My rise from a barefoot vegetable vendor in Chegutu to the towering and mythical legend of politics and business has had more twists and drama than the ordinary Hollywood script of ‘Days of our Lives.’ “However, daring my rise to power and prominence has been, it stands as a towering African tale and fable of striving to thrive amid the militating and deep cloistered web of tradition and minority white privilege-addled stasis.

“Let it be known and noted to the casual observer that my journey and rise to the top, however fabulous, has been a deliberate result of unstinting determination, investment, re-investment, strategic planning, focus, great fortune.

“I am a devout Christian but these things are not manna from heaven. Where others see disasters and problems, I see opportunities. “Even when I diversify I remain focused. My mother Marita taught me to be astute and to be an entrepreneur from pamusika, the vegetable market, and my father taught me to cast my horizons and views further and to stay focused. That is me.”by Robson Sharuko
Source: Herald


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