HARARE – Felton Kamambo is the new president of the Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA) after ousting incumbent Phillip Chiyangwa in an election on December 16.
Chiyangwa’s deputy, Omega Sibanda, was also voted out with Gift Banda assuming the position.
Kamambo, a former player for the defunct Mhangura Football Club who works as a senior manager at the Grain Marketing Board, was once sat on the ZIFA board but quit in March this year arguing that their term of office had elapsed.
His decision to call for new elections led to clashes with Chiyangwa and Sibanda, who went on to cause his suspension from all football activities for three years.
That ban would have prevented him from challenging Chiyangwa, but he appealed to FIFA which ruled in his favour.
“The election period is over now and we need to deliver what we were promising during our campaigns,” Kamambo said. “I’m challenging myself and the entire team which has been elected into office to put the foot on the pedal.
“I’m glad I have worked with some of the members elected into the board in the past. That will work for the best.”
Chiyangwa, whose eccentricity at the helm of the national game alienated him from football fans, conceded defeat.
“I’ve done the best I can. You can’t force things. Some people might find this (to be) a new opening, there might be advantages. As Zimbabweans, we must all say it’s time for development,” the businessman and Zanu PF MP said.
The winner needed a two thirds majority to be confirmed. Kamambo polled 35 votes to Chiyagwa’s 24, and the voting was due to go to a second round before Chiyangwa surprisingly pulled out.
Banda, an MDC lawmaker from Bulawayo, needed a simple majority to be elected, and duly did as he polled 37 votes to Sibanda’s 22. Sibanda, a Zanu PF MP, appeared surprised by the outcome.
Phillemon Machana, Sugar Chagonda, Rodrick Chamu Chiwanza and Brighton Malandule will sit on the ZIFA board after being elected.
Chiyangwa was elected ZIFA president in December 2015, taking over from Cuthbert Dube.
Kamambo’s immediate challenge is fixing the ZIFA finances. The association is broke and regularly seeks government help to finance national teams.