Ricky Zililo Senior Sports Reporter
FORMER Warriors’ midfielder Edzai Kasinauyo, who is vying for a place on the Zifa board in Saturday’s elections in Harare, is one of three candidates that rounded up their campaigns in Bulawayo and the Midlands yesterday.
Sixteen candidates are vying for Zifa positions, with four, former Warriors’ defender James Takavada, former Premier Soccer League secretary-general Leslie Gwindi and businessmen Phillip Chiyangwa and Trevor Carelse-Juul contesting for the presidency. Bulawayo businessman and former Zifa vice-president Omega Sibanda and former Dynamos chairman Lincoln Mutasa are vying for the vice-presidency.
Former Fifa panel referee Wilfred Mukuna, beach soccer boss Joseph Musasiri; Caps United chairman Lewis Uriri; Eastern Region boss Piraishe Mabena; Beadle Gwasira from the now defunct Lengthens FC; Munyaka Jackson; Kasinauyo, Zifa Central Region chairman Felton Kamambo, Southern Region chairman Musa Mandaza and Phillemon Machana are slogging it out for the four available board seats.
Chiyangwa and Carelse-Juul were also in Bulawayo yesterday before heading to the Midlands and Masvingo provinces to canvas for votes.
Kasinauyo’s visit coincided with that of the two presidential candidates and he said their presence in the City of Kings had presented him with an opportunity to have one-on-one meetings with voting councillors from Matabeleland North, Matabeleland South and Bulawayo.
The former national team midfielder, who is also in the retail and merchandising business and is also a player agent, spoke highly of the councillors that will vote on Saturday.
“I take my hat off for councillors as they are a real fountain of knowledge. When you’re outside, there is little that you know about them, but going around meeting them has been a real eye opener. The councillors are interesting people who need to be appreciated, and if given time, I would like to work with them and tap into their football knowledge,” said Kasinauyo.
The ex-midfielder, who retired from the game in 2007 to pursue business interests, said unity of purpose would get Zimbabwean football out of the doldrums.
“I’ve been in football since I was a kid and everything I have achieved and have is through football. There are no short-cuts in football. We need to plan properly and set up structures that make it easy for accountability. There is need to have a clear vision, define Zifa targets so that we know the direction that our football is going.
“To reach our destination, we have to work as a team and do away with factions within Zifa structures. If we structure ourselves, it’s easy for the corporate world to partner with us.
“The corporate world wants to know what benefits they will get if they partner football. They’re no longer sponsors but partners. If we’re organised, it’s easy to get government support and corporates as partners.”
Kasinauyo said if voted into the board, he would push for development of councillors, managers, players and infrastructure, which he says are key to improving Zimbabwe’s football fortunes.