The Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA) has appointed Yvonne Mapika Manwa as the new Chief Executive Officer with effect from 1 November 2023.
Manwa will lead the ZIFA secretariat.
Manwa boasts of several years in senior leadership and football administration as she was the Chief Executive Officer of Ngezi Platinum Stars.
ZIFA Normalisation Committee chairperson Lincoln Mutasa said: “We are thrilled to welcome Mrs Manwa to our team, and we believe her experience and leadership will be invaluable as we continue on the mission to transform Zimbabwean football.”
Fans welcome new ZIFA CEO
Football supporters that spoke to Zimpapers Sports yesterday said the appointment was a step in the right direction as ZIFA had no substantive chief executive officer since the suspension of Joseph Mamutse in 2021.
Manwa has previously occupied the same position at Premiership log leaders Ngezi Platinum Stars, from May last year.
Zimbabwe National Soccer Supporters Association secretary-general Joseph Mutawu said ZIFA needed stability and believes Manwa’s experience with Ngezi Platinum Stars, one of the most organised sides in the domestic Premiership, will come in handy.
“I think this is a good appointment, looking at the job that she has done at Ngezi Platinum Stars. Our hope is that she will be able to work well with all the stakeholders, supporters included, and bring everyone together to work for the betterment of our football.
“We have always had a big problem in Zimbabwe with people, when they get in these offices they end up personalising the game and creating unnecessary factions. Divisions have caused more harm to our game in the past.
“Hopefully, this is now a thing of the past. So, as ZNSSA we would like to congratulate her on this appointment,” said Mutawu.
Warrior cheerleader Chris Romario Musekiwa said Manwa should get down to work as soon as possible.
“Congratulations to Yvonne, this is a well-deserved appointment. She did well at Ngezi Platinum Stars and she comes to ZIFA at a time when our football needed fresh ideas.
“Considering where we’re coming from with Zimbabwean football, the situation at ZIFA needs someone level headed, someone who knows his/her stuff and I am sure the Normalisation Committee have done their best in evaluating all the CVs before settling for her.
“So she needs support from the united football family. There is a lot of work in front of her. Our football had died and it required resuscitation. Right now ZIFA needs structures to run the game, so that it becomes a strong institution.
“We would want to see life in our game; we have 2026 World Cup qualifiers coming soon, there is no time to waste, players should be contacted and given contracts, and so on. Development has also been lacking. We want to see Zimbabwe reclaiming its place in African football,” said Musekiwa.
Manwa’s contract will run concurrently with the tenure of the Normalisation Committee, whose mandate expires in June 2024.
The Normalisation Committee yesterday said they were happy with the appointment.
Other names that had been touted for the position included Liberty Maidza, Owen Mugwagwa, Violet Njubane and Luckson Muradzikwa.
“The Zimbabwe Football Association is pleased to announce that Yvonne Mapika Manwa has been appointed as the new Chief Executive Officer effective 1 November 2023,” said the ZIFA Normalisation Committee in a statement.
“In this role, Mrs Manwa will be responsible for leading the Zimbabwe Football Association secretariat into its next phase under the Normalisation Committee.
“Mrs Manwa has years of experience in senior leadership and football administration positions, having been the Chief Executive Officer of elite football club, Ngezi Platinum Stars,” the statement continued.
ZIFA Normalisation Committee chairman Lincoln Mutasa said Manwa’s experience will be key in transforming operations at ZIFA.
“We are thrilled to welcome Mrs Manwa to our team, and we believe her experience and leadership will be invaluable as we continue on the mission to transform Zimbabwean football,” Mutasa said.