Show me some gratitude: Dube

Makomborero Mutimukulu Sports Editor
\nSOMETHING is happening with Zifa president Cuthbert Dube. Yesterday the hugely unpopular Zifa president opened the big white gate at his Groombridge mansion to welcome the media for a frank exchange. This was shocking as Dube has been inaccessible to the media for most of his reign, cherry-picking journalists with whom to engage.

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“You need to tell me where I am going wrong,” Dube began by saying. “You guys have been criticising me for all sorts of things and today I have said OK let these guys come and face me.”

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The invitation opened the floodgates, with Dube being told – in no uncertain terms – that his biggest weakness is being out of touch with developments in the local game.

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The Zifa president, who faces a vote of no confidence motion on October 3, was also given a lengthy charge sheet before the inevitable question came through from this publication.

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“Amid all this criticism, why have you not resigned?”
\n“Never . . . I will not resign,” he shot back. “I will only resign if I have done a mistake or have misappropriated money. I haven’t done that so I won’t be resigning.”

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Dube, who claims to have used his personal funds to bail out Zifa on several occasions, reckons he deserves gratitude rather than brickbats.
\n“I don’t know what is wrong with us as a country. I have had my property attached because of Zifa, because of Zimbabwean football, but no one has ever come and said thank you,” he said.

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“Right now I have a property that can be auctioned because of a debt Zifa owes (CBZ Bank) and I need to do something about it.
\n“It has gotten to a point where my family, you know they know I am a philanthropist and take care of about 13 orphans, have said ‘no, enough is enough. You cannot continue pumping your money for people who are ungrateful’.

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“A prominent citizen of this country, whom I shall not name, said ‘you know on this Earth we are passing, your rewards are in Heaven’, and I said, ‘how do I know that?’

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“When we move people point at us saying ‘honai mbavha idzo’ (look at those thieves) but I have never been paid a cent by Zifa but have instead pumped a lot into this association.

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“As you are aware Zifa needs money for a lot of things. Right now US$30 000 is needed to audit our accounts which should be tabled at the October 3 meeting and someone has to pay for that because Government has said they have no money.

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“Maybe one of the board members will pay, certainly not Cuthbert Dube. I won’t be using my money for Zifa business until I get the gratitude I deserve.”

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Amid a raging scandal triggered by the controversial handling of funds generated by the Warriors’ Africa Cup of Nations tie against Guinea at Rufaro three weeks ago, Dube said he was ready to crack the whip on errant Zifa officials. “Results of the audit should be out on Monday and corrective measures will be taken against members of the secretariat or board members who would have been found on the wrong side of the law,” he said.

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The Sunday Mail Sport interjected: “How sincere are you about that one because there is a feeling you protect some individuals? (Jonathan) Mashingaidze is said to be your blue-eyed boy.”

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“Look I have heard that I protect Mashingaidze but why should I? I am saying it in his presence: if he is found to have embezzled money he will be fired.

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“I have no reason to protect him and I have said to the board members please document incidences where Mashingaidze has done wrong so that we use it to fire him. We can’t just fire him without a valid case against him,” said Dube.
\nMashingaidze also fielded a question on allegedly misdirecting Dube.

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“I am a football man; I am not where I am by chance. I have a column that I am following with keen interest, one written by VaShagare (in The Sunday Mail Sport), and it accuses me of being a sidekick but that is wrong.

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“I cannot be selfish as to mislead my principal to the detriment of Zimbabwean football so that I can be the winner. No I cannot.”