By Sports Reporter
CAPS United owner Farai Jere and his Herentals counterpart have set their sights on extending their influence to the political arena after announcing their candidatures ahead of this weekend’s ZANU PF primary elections.
Jere, who is also the chairman of the Premier Soccer League’s board of governors is venturing into national politics as he seeks to be Zanu PF’s Member of Parliament (MP) for Murehwa West.
Benza plays for and owns Herentals Football Club is eying Mutasa Central constituency in Manicaland Province, while Jere wants to contest the Murehwa West constituency in Mashonaland East Province on a ZANU PF ticket in the upcoming general elections.
The duo join the growing list of Zimbabwean sports administrators who have dabbled in politics in recent years.
The increase in the number of sports administrators cum politicians recently led the Zifa Restructuring Committee, established by the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) to recommend that those in political offices should not be allowed to lead national sports associations.
Former Zifa president Philip Chiyangwa and his deputy Omega Sibanda are parliamentarians with the former being MP for Zvimba South, while the latter is Vungu MP, both under the ruling party.
Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) chairman Tavengwa Mukuhlani is MP for Mhondoro, while former managing director of the organisation Ozias Bvute represents Goromonzi North in the House of Assembly. Both are Zanu (PF) members.
Interim Zifa president Gift Banda is an opposition party parliamentarian representing the Njube-Lobengula constituency in Bulawayo.
Banda was recently accused of diverting football equipment, purchased by FIFA funds, for political campaigns ahead of this year’s general elections.
The football administrator, whose board is yet to be recognised by FIFA, recently held an eight-team Under-17 football tournament in his constituency where participating teams received football equipment purchased by a FIFA grant for FIFA-approved programmes.