130 heads decide football fate
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ASPIRANTS (from left) Emanuel Kimbe, Wallace Karia and Fredrick Mwakalebela crack jokes during a campaign for votes ahead of today’s Tanzania Football Federation(TFF) Annual General Meeting and election in Dodoma. There are six aspirants for the federation’s top post. (Photo by Mroki Mroki)

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IT is the Election Day, as the Tanzania Football Federation (TFF) delegates will today decide who will be in charge of the federation’s office for the next four years.

At least 130 delegates to the meeting will cast their votes at the St Gasper Hotel in Dodoma, to elect a president, vice-president and members of the executive committee, after months of uncertainty over the credentials of some candidates and a week of tight campaigning.

The federation goes to the polls today under a cloud of trepidation that use of corruption to seduce voters will certainly put candidates, voters and those involved in the process behind bars, as the officials from the Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau (PCCB) are closely monitoring the election process.

Dodoma Region Police Commander (RPC), Lazaro Mambosasa, said tight security is already in place, as police were working hand in hand with PCCB to ensure no ‘dirty’ money is circulating before, during and even after the election.

He also assured voters, candidates and all other people in the region of a peaceful election. Minister for Information, Arts, Culture and Sports, Harrison Mwakyembe has also issued a strong warning to the delegates and candidates that they should ensure the whole process to elect new leaders was clean.

Minister Mwakyembe also challenged delegates to vote wisely by electing credible leaders and effective, who will help turn around the country’s football fortunes. “We are tired of all these scandals of mismanagement, which keeps on recurring in our federation… we need credible and reputable leaders, who will work for the good of the game and sports in general,” said Mwakyembe.

The minister, who is expected to be a guest of honour today, insisted that the Fifth Phase government is committed to develop all sports in the country and that it will not tolerate official(s) who will use corrupt means to gain power into sports associations.

Minister Mwakyembe will give a pep talk to the delegates during the General Meeting, which will precede the election at the same venue. The federation is braced for a close race for the presidency as delegates face no straight choice at the presidential level with six candidates battling for the top post.

No official opinion polls have been conducted but certainly, the atmosphere around here is putting the six candidates neck and neck. Incumbent President Jamal Malinzi is out of the race because he is still in custody facing charges of fraud and money laundering.

His vice-president and now Interim president, Wallace Karia is among the front runners for the presidential post. Other candidates vying for federation’s top post include Ally Mayay, Imani Madega, Shija Richard, Fredrick Mwakalebela and Emanuel Kimbe.

For the vice-president post, perennial sports administrator and Chairman of the Mara Football Association, Michael Wambura is among those eyeing the post. Other candidates eyeing for post are Mulamu Nghambi, who is the Chairman of the Dodoma Regional Football Association, Mtemi Ramadhani, Stephen Mwakibolwa and Robert Selasela.

The election campaign was launched on Monday and was due to close yesterday night. And, by yesterday afternoon, candidates were vigorously campaigning to lure voters Karia kicked off his re-election campaign on Monday saying he is vying for the presidential post so as to improve the country’s football industry, highlighting 11 priorities.

Karia said he will focus on transparency, accountability, trustworthy and development of youth football among others priorities. Shija Richard is targeting to restore the federation integrity as well grooming and developing football talent in the country.

“Discovering, grooming and developing football talents needs a lot of things and does not come in a single day, so we will start by establishing a good system of identifying and grooming talents all over the country and that way I have long term and short term plans to ensure our football goes into the next level ,” Shija said.

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