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Date: 16 December 2018

  Zimbabwean - Soccer

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Is Madinda Warriors new substantive coach?

[Posted 19 Dec 2010]
[By Brighton Mupangavanhu]
Has the ZIFA board appointed Madinda as AFCON 2012 campaign coach?

For Heaven's sake, what exactly is happening with ZIFA regarding the senior national team's coaching position? Has ZIFA secretly appointed Madinda Ndlovu as substantive coach, or are they still searching for the coach?

As it has been before, it appears that absolutely nothing has changed with the manner Zimbabwean football is run by the new Zimbabwe Football Association board.

In the past years, fans and other football stakeholders have complained about lack of professionalism within ZIFA, lack of transparency and poor accountability regarding the running of the national game by the football chiefs.

Leadership is about openness, and in football, accountability to the major stakeholders of the game such as the fans or supporters is a must, and should be given through media briefings, where an association like ZIFA should notify the nation of what is happening regarding an important decision such as the appointment of national team coaches.

When secrecy becomes order of the day in football governance or any administration, then one must know that something rotten is taking place. Otherwise, why the secrecy when everything that is being done is above board?

Something tells me and the rest of soccer loving Zimbabweans, that something fishy is going on in ZIFA regarding the Warriors coaching job.

First, it was the elbowing out of Norman Mapeza from the picture, when appointing him or confirming him as substantive coach after a stint as acting coach could have helped to avoid the mess that the Warriors currently finds themselves in.

The reason for ZIFA refusing to appoint Mapeza as coach was apparently because he was not qualified enough to coach the national team.

Secondly, ZIFA went on to appoint Ndlovu as assistant coach, despite the Warriors legend not having applied for the job in the first place, and Mapeza had to be appointed the second assistant only after an internal deal was struck to t ry and deal with the rifts within the ZIFA board.

Thirdly, it emerged recently that ZIFA has been in negotiations with either Charles Muhlauri or Rahman Gumbo to return as coach of the national team.

What is queer about the Gumbo link to the Warriors job is that the very successful and normadic coach does not have even a CAF C coaching licence as yet, the very reason given for elbowing Mapeza out of reckoning for appointment as Warriors coach.

Muhlauri is a highly qualified coach who secured his European coaching qualification in Germany some years ago. There is absolutely no question about his credentials and abilities as coach.

There is neither a question about Gumbo's abilities as a coach. Results are there for all to see that Gumbo has proved to be a successful club coach in Zimbabwe, Malawi and of late Botswana.

There won't be much questions asked by fans if Gumbo is to be appointed as Warriors coach tomorrow, because many believe that he could be able to deliver. 

Gumbo, Mapeza, Ndlovu or Muhlauri are not problems at all. In fact they are our homegrown coaching talent and deserve a chance with the Warriors. So what is the problem then?

The problem appears to be the manner in which ZIFA conducts its business. Many neutrals and fans question the emerging confusion regarding the position of the Warriors substantive coach.

Here are the confusing revelations from the ZIFA House.

There is a letter of appointment from ZIFA to Madinda Ndlovu offering him the job until the 2012 AFCON finals which a local newspaper, the Sunday Mail had sight of. The letter reads:

 “We hereby inform you (Madinda Nldovu) of your appointment as acting coach of the men’s senior national team for the 2011 African Nations Championships finals in Sudan and the 2012 African Cup of Nations campaign. Kindly contact the undersigned upon receipt of this letter.”

This letter was written and signed by ZIFA Acting CEO Jonathan Mashingaidze, presumably with ZIFA authority or under instruction from his seniors in the ZIFA board. Or is this another case of a ZIFA CEO acting outside his authority, just like the previous CEO was accused of?

And then comes a surprise. The board member responsible for marketing within ZIFA, Nigel Munyati wades in with a worrying twist.

“Madinda is just the interim coach. The Zifa board is not informed by a letter but by board resolutions. The formal position is that we are negotiating with Charles Mhlauri and we hope to come to an agreement soon,” said Munyati.

Munyati even goes on to justify Muhlauri's demands to be paid part of the salary he will receive during the course of the proposed duration of the contract he will receive from ZIFA should he accept the job offer.

“Everyone first makes demands and then negotiations follow. What matters is if he has the goodwill to serve his nation. Charlie’s demands are not unreasonable because if you look around you will find this has become the standard procedure for all coaches coming to work in African football. It is meant to protect them because changes can arise at national associations anytime and the coach may be left vulnerable if the new football leadership is not in favour of him. Given what happened to him in the past, obviously Charles is only being cautious," Munyati added.

It is worrying to note that the Saintfeit saga which later turned ugly and cost the Warriors an opportunity to be sitting at the summit of their AFCON qualifying group A, started with sickening revelations and confusions emenating from the ZIFA board.

Surely, what is happening with the Warriors job? Has Ndlovu been appointed substantive coach? Is he appointed on a temporary basis until end of AFCON finals in 2012? Or is ZIFA negotiating with another coach to take over, presumably Muhlauri or Gumbo?

Whatever the position is, the average fan on the ground fears that the ZIFA confusion, which reigned supreme during the failed bid to appoint an under-experienced, under-skilled and undeserving Tom Saintfeit, is back.

Is this another sign of in-fighting within ZIFA, with one camp pushing for Muhlauri's appointment, while the other camp has already decided that Madinda is their man, and have given a letter of appointment?

To compound matters, Ndlovu himself believes he has been appointed to prepare the team for the AFCON qualifying campaign.

“I am heading the team on an acting basis until the 2012 African Cup of Nations finals, according to the letter I have from Zifa. It is not a full-time appointment and I will be able to continue my duties with Black Mambas. I suppose I will act until Zifa appoints the new coach. In the meantime I have been asked to take temporary charge of the team,’’ said Ndlovu.

So, is this what ZIFA President Cuthbert Dube meant when he said that the nation will know about the substantive Warriors coach by Christmas?

There is no doubt about it, the current ZIFA board is on the high speed lane to becoming the worst ZIFA board in history, if they do not pull their act together soon.

There are signs of serious problems within the board.

A body that contradicts itself is not a healthy organisation. A board that fails to keep its promises is only showing signs of organisational struggles. A board that never learns from its immediate past mistakes is doomed for failure. Secrecy is always associated with corruption and a tendency to want to deceive or conceal the truth from people.

The above appears to sum up the general perception of the ZIFA board with respect to the manner they have handled the Warriors' coach issue. Things appear to be getting worse before Warriors fans can know joy in their hearts once again.

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