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'I turned down calls to challenge Phillip Chiyangwa,' says Banda

by Staff reporter
01 Nov 2018 at 05:30hrs | Views
ASPIRING Zifa vice-president, Gift Banda, says he turned down "people's calls" to challenge Phillip Chiyangwa for the presidency to save Zimbabwe's positions at Cosafa and Caf. Banda is challenging fellow Bulawayo businessman Omega Sibanda, who he beat to the Zifa Southern Region chairmanship in 2010.

The former Njube Sundown boss, who submitted his electoral forms at the end of business on Tuesday, said it would have been selfish of him to gun for the Zifa presidency and cost the nation regional and continental seats presently held by Chiyangwa.

"I'm a businessman who is a football person and having spent some years on the sidelines, I responded to calls from football people to come and add value to our game. Some wanted me to challenge Chiyangwa, but as a football person I said no, let's hold onto those Caf and Cosafa positions, which allow us (Zimbabwe) to have first hand information and that also helps develop our game," said Banda.

"The other thing is that these guys have done reasonably well in office and my coming in is meant to give the game fresh ideas in order to improve it. I feel the incumbent (Sibanda) has covered his bit and it's time for him to hand over the button," he said.

Banda is confident the Zifa electoral committee will clear him to contest, saying he fulfilled all requirements, including the integrity test. He also said his running mate for a place on the Zifa board from the Southern Region is former Chicken Inn treasurer, Mlungisi Moyo.

The coming in of Banda who has roped in former national junior teams manager Eddie Chivero as his campaign manager, has added an interesting dimension to the Zifa race. It's not clear if former Zifa board member Felton Kamambo submitted his nomination papers challenging Chiyangwa for the presidency.

Zifa last week said Kamambo had been suspended from all football activities for alleged improper behaviour.

Zifa spokesperson, Xolisani Gwesela, declined to comment on candidates that submitted their nomination forms, saying the electoral committee "will announce the successful candidates after their Saturday sitting".

Source - the herald