Former Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) president Cuthbert Dube, has written requesting an urgent refund of $918 049,30 he advanced to the local football mother body during his reign that coincided with the government of national unity era.
In his letter to Zifa chief executive officer Joseph Mamutse on April 11 this year, Dube said the debt has been outstanding for a very long time and is long overdue and efforts to get a concrete confirmation as to when the debt will be settled have been frustrated.
“…I also refer to the numerous cell phone conversations with yourself in your capacity now as the substantive Zifa CEO enquiring as to when Zifa will replay my loan extended to them. You have not been able to categorically advise me,” Dube wrote in his letter to Mamutse.
“You are very well aware that I assisted Zifa financially and materially at the time of its dire need during the entire life/period of the GNU in our country, when government was not paying anything to Zifa.”
Dube said the money owed to him went to cater towards staff salaries, national team bonuses and allowances, hotel accommodation for visiting foreign teams, referees fees both local and foreign.
He further states that the money was also used in paying expenses for the Zifa board and councillors’ meetings, including their transport costs, costs for Zifa representatives attending the Cosafa, Caf and Fifa meetings as well as maize for staff “during their difficult times”.
“There also were times when Buymore Group of Companies and myself put our personal properties as guarantors to hotels for foreign teams and to travel agents for our national teams both men and women in terms of air fares and other incidental expenses,” Dube said.
“In other words, I acted as co-debtor for Zifa’s debts. I did all this in the national interest as a true patriot. If I had not taken this patriotic route, Zifa would have long ceased to operate as you very well know. Now I am being battered in the State media for crimes I never committed. Do I deserve these unwarranted and unpatriotic attacks?”
Dube veered into his family background where he comes from a political background where his late father was detained on numerous occasions for political activism against the white colonial system “hence my assistance to Zifa which falls under a government parastatal body, the Sports and Recreation Commission, if Zifa had folded, the consequences to Zimbabwe would have been ghastly to contemplate.
He said he has already lost one of his properties in the leafy suburb of Mt Pleasant and is set to lose another one in Waterfalls as a result of Zifa’s failure to own up for its numerous debts.
“With the foregoing in mind, it is extremely sad that I have already lost my personal one and half acre stand in Mt Pleasant, Harare after Zifa failed to pay Pandhari Lodge for costs incurred by their visiting Tanzanian national team. Pandhari Lodge obtained a writ of execution against my residential property,” said Dube.
“As if that was not enough, I am about to lose my house in Waterfalls, Harare to CBZ Bank again after Zifa failed to pay CBZ where the bank advanced the association some overdraft facilities for the senior men’s national team air fares.
“I find it absurd that an individual loses his personal assets to bail out a national association which should be bailed by government in normal circumstances . . . in addition lest we forget, I am the second largest Zifa creditor after CBZ Bank and yet some media reports seem to suggest that some Zifa creditors have been paid by Zifa.
“I humbly request to know why I have been omitted in the Zifa payment schedule when Zifa is reported to have paid almost $5 million.”
In conclusion, he pleaded with the current leadership to honour their word and pay off his debt.
“I have been silent all along hoping that the new Zifa leadership would treat my issue respectfully and professionally considering that I rescued Zifa from imminent collapse at a time when government was not paying any grants to Zifa,” he said.
“With your indulgence, I am requesting your esteemed office and person to prevail on your principals to pay me my dues as a matter of urgency, failing which I will seek recourse from elsewhere.”