INITIALLY, in the eyes of many people within the local football fraternity, criticising the ZIFA Normalisation Committee simply meant allegiance to certain members of the troubled association’s secretariat.
The view that a section of the media was ‘fighting in the corner’ of certain members of the secretariat – particularly the trio of technical director Wilson Mutekede, acting chief executive Xolisani Gwesela and former national teams General Manager Wellington Mpandare.
This resulted in many people failing to look at the Normalisation Committee’s early days in office, with extensive eyes.
This is a committee whose chairman, Lincoln Mutasa, showed signs of being a total stranger to morden football but many ignored them.
In August, a month after the Committee was appointed by FIFA, Mutasa proved that he didn’t even know the difference between the UEFA Pro Licence and UEFA A coaching badges.
This week, the Committee announced to the nation the Warriors would host Botswana in an international friendly on Saturday.
They even arranged police escort for the purported match, announced gate charges and organised match officials.
But, the Botswana Football Association (BFA) professed ignorance over the match and publicly distance itself from it.
The Normalisation Committee knew probably two hours after announcing the Botswana friendly that it wouldn’t happen.
But, it waited more than 24 hours to let the nation know.
On Monday, the Warriors trio of Tendayi Darikwa, Teenage Hadebe and Jordan Zemura, got the shock of their lives when they got the national team call-ups through WhatsApp texts from someone who is not even the team manager Clemence Matawu.
When it finally became public knowledge that the Botswana game was not going to be played for “reasons beyond the Committee’s control”, a 24-member Warriors squad was announced for a ‘training camp’ during the international break.
After the Premier made a U-turn and rescheduled league games back to this Saturday and Sunday, DeMbare asked the PSL to postpone their match against Manica Diamonds scheduled for Saturday at Gibbo, citing incapacitation.
Granted, Zimbabwean football already had problems before Mutasa and company came on board.
But, as Harvey MacKay, said: “Exploring how you could make a bad situation worse can sometimes tell you what not to do.”
The Normalisation Committee has been in office for 92 days, 272 to go, and one can be forgiven for impatiently waiting for the latter.
- Lawrence Mangenje is an award-winning Zimbabwean journalist who works for Soccer24.co.zw