By Robson Sharuko
KEEGAN MUMBA has hailed Callisto Pasuwa for guiding Dynamos to a league and cup double and dismissed reports linking him with an imminent return to the Glamour Boys as mere speculation generated by the off-season rumour mill.
The Zambian coach, who had a spell at DeMbare in 2003, has seen his name featuring prominently in the boardroom drama at the Glamour Boys ignited by the club leadership’s failure to offer Pasuwa a contract to become substantive coach.
Pasuwa’s short-term deal has ended and, while the coach wants a three-year contract, negotiations have stalled and, worse still, a draft copy containing his preferred working conditions was leaked to the fans’ representatives.
Mumba’s name as been dragged into the unfolding drama at Dynamos with reports claiming that he hand-picked the two Zambian players, Derrick Kabwe and Arthur Kaseloka, who moved to the Glamour Boys recently.
Yesterday, Mumba told The Herald that while he will never close the door on a possible return to Dynamos one day, there was nothing on the table lined up for such a relationship to be sealed in the immediate future.
Instead, Mumba – who insists DeMbare are his favourite football club – showered praise on the work that Pasuwa and his coaching team have done at the club and said there was need for all stakeholders to rally behind them.
“There has been no communication at any level, between me and Dynamos officials or any football officials from Zimbabwe, to discuss the possibility of me coming back to coach in that country,” said Mumba.
“I don’t know who is the chairman at Dynamos. I don’t even know who is their secretary right now. So, what kind of discussions can I be said to be having with Dynamos if I am not talking to their leading club officials? I haven’t discussed this issue, either, with any third parties who could have been representing Dynamos.
“But, I guess that’s the way football is and I am now used to such rumours because they always come when you are doing well and even here in Zambia it’s the same, they say I’m going to Zesco, I’m going to Zanaco and all over the place.
“The only time I discussed anything about Zimbabwe was when FAZ president Kalusha (Bwalya) told me that he gave some people from Zimbabwe football my number after they had asked for it saying they wanted to contact me.
“I don’t know who those people are, whether they were from Dynamos, Motor Action or Zifa, because they never called me.”
Mumba is currently the coach of Zambian club, Konkola Blades, and turned them into a competitive unit in that country’s Premiership, where they finished third, and also had a good run in the Barclays Cup where they ended up as losing finalists.
His stock also rose during the Cosafa youth championships when he guided Zambia to gold in Botswana while also hammering South Africa 5-1 in a group match in the tournament.
But Mumba believes Dynamos have done well this season and, in such a situation, a change of coaching personnel is not usually the best move.
“I appreciate the work that has been done by the coaches who are there at Dynamos right now, they are doing a very good job,” said Mumba.
“They have done well and maybe this is not the right time for a change in coaches.
“Dynamos is my favourite team and Zimbabwe is my second home and if there is a deal, which is good, football is about sharing ideas and I will consider it, be it at DeMbare, Motor Action or Zifa.
“But, as of now, there is no deal to consider about coming back to Zimbabwe because no one has made an offer and I haven’t discussed anything, officially, with anyone about working in Zimbabwe again.
“I have a lot of respect for Callisto Pasuwa, I know him well, because he was my player and I know (Tonderai) Ndiraya very well, too, because he was also my player.
“”I know those boys, they are good, young boys, intelligent and energetic. If Dynamos is doing well, as they are doing now, I always enjoy it and I get hurt when they are doing badly.
“My doors are always open and one day I feel I will get back to Zimbabwe to coach be it Dynamos, Motor Action or within Zifa structures but that doesn’t look like it will happen soon.”
Mumba also dismissed reports that he was behind Dynamos’ decision to sign their two new Zambian forwards.
The coach said he only knew the two players as opponents in the Zambian Premiership.
“I know their names, but I don’t know them personally because they were playing for Zesco, which is a team in Ndola, and I am at Konkola Blades, which is a team at a different mine,” said Mumba.
“I wouldn’t have recommended them to Dynamos because I didn’t work with them and I don’t really know their strengths and weaknesses. I am happy at Konkola because I believe I made a difference coaching the team and in the last season, we finished third, the club’s highest position in years and we were competing for the title for a long time.
“I also took the team into the final of the Barclays Cup, something they had not done in about 10 years or so, and I believe I have achieved a lot since coming here.”
Konkola Blades are based in the small mining town of Chililabombwe and finished third in the league championship race behind champions Power Dynamos and Red Arrows.