Tamim retains ZFA presidency

Ali Ferej Tamim is back on the saddle as Zanzibar Football Association’s president after scooping hefty 32 votes out of the 54 in the general election held at the Gombani Stadium here yesterday.

Tamim beat his closest challenger Suleiman Mahmoud Jabir who managed 20 votes as Munir Zakaria salvaged paltry two votes in the tense polls.

ZFA’s electoral chairman Ali Suleiman Ali ‘Shihata’ announced Amani Ibrahim Makungu as the vice-chairman on Unguja zone while Haji Ameir nose-dived with 22 votes.

Makungu scooped 32 votes. Pemba zone’s vice-chairman aspirant Suleiman Amour made an eleventh-hour pullout to leave Ali Mohamed Ali as the only candidate for the post. Voters had to decide on yes or no and he subsequently won by 44 votes as eight ones were spoiled.

Earlier on the day, Unguja’s vice-president aspirant Ali Khatib Dai was disqualified on the grounds of his failure to submit the national Form Four school certificate.

In a bizarre twist of events, Makungu, who won the vice-presidency post, left the election room while declaring to step down should the incumbent president Tamim win the election.

“It’s absurd to win vice-presidency and then work in cooperation with incompetent president,” declared Makungu.

Makungu termed the leadership combination as a vehicle with beautiful body but dilapidated or junky engine.

However, Tamim in his post election address pleaded for Makungu to erase his promise and join hands in taking the new-look ZFA.

Zacharia, who lost the presidential race, said the major problem of soccer development in the Isles is vested with the voters and not the Government.

Zacharia blamed the ZFA delegates as responsible for slow development of soccer in Zanzibar as they don’t need changes.

The election was preceded by a speech from the minister for Information, Sports and Culture, Abdillahi Hassan Jihad, who urged voters to elect leaders who would implement development goals.

“The bottom line is for you to elect competent leaders and the Government would chip in assistance to boost soccer development in Zanzibar,” said the minister.

The ZFA election has been dominated by bribery allegations among the aspirants but no one was caught red handed at the end.

Tamim, who has been in power for the past 22 years, begins another four-year term.

Barely one year ago, Tamim had declared not to contest for the post but made a bizarre U-turn mid last year.

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