YOUNG Mutare football administrator, Benjamin Chindima’s conduct earned the admiration of the ZIFA Eastern Region board after he was roped into the executive at the regional football body’s Annual General Meeting in Masvingo last week on Saturday.
The AGM which deliberated on numerous key issues after a lengthy layoff, also decided to start their flagship Eastern Region Division One League on December 11.
In an interview after the AGM, ZIFA Eastern Region chairman, Davison Muchena confirmed the inclusion of Chindima in their board.
Chindima was once captain of the University of Zimbabwe football team in 2007 before he was appointed secretary of Harare United when the club was still playing Division One football.
He later took over the post of committee member, and later chief of protocol at Mutare City Rovers.
He rose through the ranks at Mutare City Rovers and became the chief executive in an administration that will always be remembered for luring CellMed as sponsors for the team.
In confirming Chindima’s co-option, Muchena said: “We have agreed to fill in posts that were left vacant following the death and transfer of some of our colleagues.
Former Mutare City Rovers executive member, Benjamin Chindima of Manicaland Province was co-opted into the ZIFA Eastern Region board.
Mollen Makombe of Mashonaland East Province was also co-opted into the regional board to fill in the positions left by Simon Mushangwe who went to Europe for greener pastures, and Cyril Mukwewa who passed on in 2020 after a long illness.
“We also decided to start league action on December 11. We believe this will give us ample time to make a statement to our supporters that football is back. That timing will also make sure that our league matches are finished at the same time Premier Soccer League finish their games. This will allow the promotion and relegation process to go on smoothly.
“This is a development that we all celebrated, given that we were greatly affected by the Covid-19 lockdown measures. We want to carry on with our mandate to remove youngsters from the streets and take them back to the game of football,” said Muchena.
The Triangle-based football administrator said they also deliberated on the need to observe Covid-19 protocols during their league matches.
“The board also expressed its determination to observe the Covid-19 protocols laid down by the Sports and Recreation Commission. If there are problems observed, we will thrive to rectify them before restarting the league after Africa Cup of Nations finals in February.
“We will use the time between now and December 11 to spread the message and inform our administrators, athletes as well as fans about the need to observe Covid-19 protocols. We are also confident that the team will have enough time to train and bring back players from this long holiday induced by Covid-19. In the same breadth, we urge clubs to move and register players in the system, the FIFA Connect,” said Muchena.
The Eastern Region Division 2021/2022 season will see the participation of new teams.
From Mashonaland East Province, JM Busha and returnees, Nzuma Bar FC will be part of the 2021/2022 Eastern Region League.
Masvingo Province will provide one new team in FC Wangu Mazodze, while Manicaland will have Manica Diamonds Juniors FC in the league, together with Chipinge Stars and Nyanga-based Claremont.