The elections will see the 58 Zifa councillors electing the president, vice-president and four board members, who will be joined by two board members representing the Premier Soccer League and the Women’s Soccer League.
Businessman Philip Chiyangwa, former PSL secretary-general Leslie Gwindi, former national team defender James Takavada and another businessman Trevor Carelse Juul are vying for the Zifa presidential seat.
Chiyangwa started his campaign last month and there had initially been reports that the property magnate would run unopposed, although Gwindi had stated that he was also interested in domestic football’s top post.
Gwindi is running for the top Zifa post for the third time, having lost the 2010 and 2014 elections to Dube. In 2010, Gwindi polled four votes and 10 in 2014.
The Harare executive is hoping for better fortunes this time around.
Another person who is repositioning himself for the country’s football top post is Juul, who got 14 votes in the last elections compared to Dube’s 40.
Juul, who has business interests in Nigeria and South Africa, among other countries, has previously served as Zifa chairman and is expected to give front runner Chiyangwa a strong contest.
However, the presidential dark horse could be Takavada. With the talk of “football people for office”, the former Ziscosteel defender could sway a number of councillors into voting in his favour.
If it comes to the race being between businessmen Chiyangwa and Juul, Gwindi and Takavada could split the votes, leaving the race complicated.
The vice-president’s seat is being contested by Omega Sibanda who served in the previous board, former Dynamos official Lincoln Mutasa and ex-Bosso vice-chairman Elkanah Scott Dube.
Mutasa and Dube made late entries, widening options for the vice-president’s contest, which had appeared to be heading Sibanda’s way.
Dube made a big about turn as he had denied any interest in Zifa polls on Tuesday.
“There are a number of people who came to me and said I must stand. I had to rethink my earlier stance and give councillors a wider option to select from. The most topical thing is that people want administrators with proven track records and to clear my conscience, I had to participate,” said Dube.
Sibanda, who is Chiyangwa’s running mate, is not bothered by the late challengers.
“I think its game on. It’s the councillors that said I must stand and because I don’t come from the air, but from a system, I obliged,” said Sibanda.
Former Warriors’ skipper Benjani Mwaruwari, who was said to have jetted into the country to file his nomination papers for either the vice-presidency or board member slot on Monday, seems to have decided otherwise as he is not among those that have submitted their nomination papers.
Former Bosso defender Alexander Maseko, who had also been eyeing the Zifa top post, also withdrew.
There is also a tough contest for the four available board seats that has attracted 10 candidates.
Former referee Wilfred Mukuna, Joseph Musasiri, a beach soccer official, Caps United’s Lewis Uriri, Piraishe Mabena of the Eastern Region, Beadle Gwasira from the now defunct Lengthens FC, Munyaka Jackson, Philemon Machana, former Warriors’ midfielder Edzai Kasinauyo, Zifa Central Region chairman Felton Kamambo and Southern Region chairman Musa Mandaza are all battling it out for the four board slots.
Mandaza is confident of making it into the board.
“What we want is peace and unity of purpose in the board. I’m going in to carry the regions’ mandate. As pioneers of fighting a failed Dube system, we feel we’ve seen it all and it’s time to play an active role in stirring the Zifa boat. As Southern Region, we are backing Sibanda for vice-presidency and his running mate Chiyangwa,” said Mandaza.
Zifa spokesman Xolisani Gwesela said successfully vetted candidates would be announced on November 16.
“It must be noted that this is a provisional list as we are waiting for feedback from other regions and provinces. There might be other names that may be announced maybe tomorrow after getting all entries from all centres. The nomination court sits on Saturday, but the final list of people who will contest the December 5 elections will be announced on November 16,” said Gwesela.
Zifa provisional list
President: Philip Chiyangwa, Trevor Carelse Juul, Leslie Gwindi, James Takavada
Vice-president: Omega Sibanda, Lincoln Mutasa, Elkanah Scott Dube
Board: Musa Mandaza, Felton Kamambo, Philemon Machana, Edzai Kasinauyo, Beadle Gwasira, Munyaka Jackson, Lewis Uriri, Piraishe Mabena, Joseph Musasiri, Wilfred Mukuna.