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Mazodze eyes Zifa presidency

Mazodze believes the country deserves better when it comes to how football is handled, hence sees himself as the rightful candidate to modify and improve it.

Popularly known for stealing the limelight and known for the mantra Zhalala Zhululu, Richard Wangu Mazodze (RM) has thrown his name into the hat among the people who are vying for the Zifa presidium at the next elections

Mazodze believes the country deserves better when it comes to how football is handled, hence sees himself as the rightful candidate to modify and improve it.

Our correspondent Sukuoluhle Ndlovu  (SN)caught up with Mazodze to get an insight of why he believes he is the suitable candidate to run Zimbabwe Football Association.

Below are excerpts for the interview.

SN: Why do you want to be the Zifa president, what drove you?

RM: To me it is more about a paradigm shift from the way football has always been run in our country. Whereas, ones ’s personal wealth has assumedly been considered the major quality and strength. I believe the next Zifa leadership should be considered on the basis of a high bar of corporate governance, professional etiquette and demeanor.

It is my conviction that Zimbabwe needs a global citizen with the right synergies and networks so that our country is brought to parlance with international best practices.

SN: What is it you want to do when elected into office for the development of football in the country?

RM: One of the things closest to my heart is the development of football. I have had the privilege to visit several football clubs in Europe and South America and their approaches to development is a methodology laced with a cultural commitment and spiced with patriotic flavor entrenched in the spirit of football driven by its enduring love.

We do not need to necessarily re-invent the wheel, but definitely modify and improve it. Zimbabwe needs a grassroots approach to development.

Tournaments like Cosafa Cup should have a quota for footballers from the regions. We should gradually increase it up to a time that the majority are from development sides. Every premiership and Division 1 side should be paired with an overseas club, this is very simple with the right leadership in place.

SN: Would you say this is a tough race for you?

RM: Every race by its nature is tough, however unlike in other jurisdictions where it is the battle of ideas. The comparison is between apples and oranges.

Zifa is a very big institution and requires a serious leadership with the right credentials, acumen and a pedigree of excellence in corporate governance and leadership not just an orator, former athlete or fan.

There is a very big difference between the three axis of football which are: supporting football, playing football and managing football. The first two are just subsets whereas managing football is a very tertiary enterprise which goes beyond the pitch.

 Zifa is a very big conglomerate and its demands go beyond the needs of some major towns and cities. It is not about who speaks the loudest but superior logic should carry the day.

Notwithstanding the competitors, I would rather major in my strengths which can be verified instead of phantom claims of excellence by those who are trying to enrich themselves using football.

SN: What new things are you going to bring?

RM: I am going to bring my expertise, experience, knowledge and commitment to Zimbabwean football in general and Zifa in particular. Football is a business and my presence is itself a statement to the world that Zimbabweans are serious about football. One’s network is his net worth. I will transform Zifa into a viable and bankable business.

  1. Why should people vote for you?

RM: The Zifa councillors should do what is right for football. Zimbabweans deserve better. We cannot continue playing home matches outside the country. Fifa adequately funds our football and Zifa does not necessarily require government financial support.

We have the means to autonomously manage our football whilst the government comes in as the guarantor where called upon. The issue of stadiums and underdevelopment in football has nothing to do with the government, it is a clear failure by the people mandated to independently run football. My success in business and other spheres of leadership can come handy thereby transforming our football for the better.

Mazodze is a businessman and founder of FC Wangu Mazodze and FC Wangu Mazodze City. The two clubs are battling it out in Eastern and Central Region Division One football.

He strongly believes in the development of the community through football and this is evident in how he has invested into football and wants to expand his wings into other regions.

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