Mashinkila was long fired from Zim Saints
By Sikhumbuzo Moyo
Willard Mashinkila Khumalo was apparently fired from his post as Zimbabwe Saints head coach on the day the club parted ways with his assistant, Agent ‘Ajira’ Sawu early this month, it has been established.
All along the club has been hiding behind the ‘compassionate leave’ claim on the part of Khumalo so that he fully recovered from an ailment he suffered recently. However a source at the club claimed in the Chronicle that Khumalo knows his status with the club.
“When Sawu was fired Willard was also there but it was felt that perhaps the timing was not alright for him to be fired as he was physically unwell but otherwise the decision was taken on that day,” said the source.
The claims by the source seemed to be collaborated by the club secretary Caleb Sengu when asked for a comment on the status of the former Highlanders and national team midfield maestro.
“Ask Willard about that (his status). He knows pretty well what the situation is like because when he left he actually asked for compassionate leave, a request that was granted on 6 July,” said Sengu.
Sawu was fired on the same day. Sengu said up to now there were yet to hear from Khumalo, saying he should avail himself if he is now fit and then the executive will have to decide on the way forward.
The secretary could not however explain in what capacity Khumalo will be at the club since Chawanda is already in, referring the question to club chairman Felix Dzumbunu. Dzumbunu was however not reachable last night.
Questions were raised when the club fired Sawu and then hired former Chikwata and Dream Team captain great Ephraim Chawanda as head coach but at the same continued to claim that Khumalo was on compassionate leave.
Things then took an interesting turn on Sunday soon after the 2-0 defeat by city neighbours when some former Zimbabwe Saints players confronted the executive and demanded that they be clear on the status of Khumalo instead of treating him like a nobody.
And upon being contacted for a comment yesterday, Nduna, as Khumalo was also known at Highlanders during his heydays, was not a happy man at all.
“I am suppose to meet with the executive today (yesterday) but I have been waiting since 2pm no one has come. I want them to be open with regards my status at the club. I however feel their position is already clear as they have since hired someone else,” said Khumalo.
Chronicle Sport caught up with Chawanda at the Zimbabwe Saints clubhouse yesterday who said it was the executive’s decision to decide on the future of Khumalo at the club, not him.
“Personally I would not have any problems working with him (Khumalo) because we did work together when I was captain of the national team,” said Chawanda.
Chikwata is at the moment under the temporary stewardship of Admore Sibanda and are yet to pick up maximum points since the departure of Khumalo and Sawu. The Chronicle