Chagonda endorses new Zifa CEO

Sugar Chagonda

EX-ZIFA board member Sugar Chagonda has thrown his weight behind newly appointed Zifa chief executive Yvonne Manwa, and urged the domestic football family to shun the toxicity that has often pegged back the country’s biggest sport.

The Normalisation Committee running Zifa announced Manwa’s appointment on Monday and revealed that the Ngezi Platinum Stars club CEO will leave her job at the Premiership log leaders to assume leadership of the association’s secretariat in November.

Chagonda, who was a member in charge of marketing and competitions in the Felton Kamambo board, argued that it was premature for people to judge Manwa before she has even begun her duties at Zifa.

Manica Diamonds founding secretary, also implored Lincoln Mutasa’s Normalisation Committee to put in place structures that will support Manwa in her role at Zifa.

“I wish to congratulate Mrs Yvonne Mapika-Manwa on her recent appointment as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa). As the preferred choice of the Zifa Normalisation Committee, football stakeholders can only, at this stage, wish her well and support her as she assumes her role of leading the Zifa secretariat,’’ Chagonda said.

Chagonda is also under no illusions on the tough task that awaits Manwa as she takes over the office that has been without a steward since Joseph Mamutse went AWOL in the lead up of the expiry of his contract with Zifa on August 31.

“Admittedly, she is faced with a daunting task and certainly no kindergarten business but I strongly believe that it is premature and unfair for career critics to engage in an overdrive, attacking her appointment at this stage.

“Let’s give her a chance! I wish her well in her herculean task.

“I strongly urge the Zifa Normalisation Committee to support the new Zifa CEO and they should go beyond just announcing her appointment, by urgently putting up supporting key structures for football, failure of which, they will be setting her up for failure.’’

Chagonda who broke ranks with the Kamambo board at the height of their tiff with the Sport and Recreation Commission, also wants Manwa to quickly shift focus from administering a club to the national task that is now before her.

“It must be acknowledged that as Zifa CEO, she is now administering the national game from grassroots to elite levels.

“Therefore Mrs. Manwa should not just be consumed with the administration of the senior national teams and their international events as there is a lot on her plate that needs to be done if the envisaged reform processes in Zim football are to be achieved.

“In dealing with the Zifa issue, let us as football stakeholders, also shun the toxicity, which is sadly rampant in our football and Mrs Manwa could do well from the start to avoid being dragged into some of the shameful petty politics that always drag our football backwards.

“Whether people like her or not, she is the one in office now. During her tenure, let’s support her regardless of her gender, where she is coming from or how she looks but for the sake of our football,’’ Chagonda said.

He added that Manwa’s performance could be a measure of the success or failure of the Fifa-appointed Normalisation Committee, that came into office on July 11.

“Her failure should be the Normalisation Committee’s failure and similarly our failure as a collective body too.

“Let’s give football a chance, let’s put the peoples’ game first.

“After all this country has huge potential to succeed and those in administration in particular owe it to the current generation of players and generations to come, to make good of our game.’’

Although their board under Kamambo, largely failed in their mandate at Zifa, Chagonda’s association with the game comes from spheres, including having been part of the management that ensured that Manica Diamonds were the best Premiership debutants of their era in 2019.

He also has vast experience in the corporate world from where he was seconded to be part of Zifa’s fundraising committees.


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