By Nigel Matongorere
HARARE – The recent shake-up at the Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) is likely to threaten the position of Warriors coach Calisto Pasuwa.
Pasuwa is yet to sign a conclusive contract with Zifa following his decision to return to the helm shortly before the home 2017 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifier against Guinea.
The former Dynamos coach had quit his post shortly after the Zimbabwe Under-23’s elimination from 2016 Rio Olympic Games qualifiers after going for months without getting paid.
With Zifa reeling from a cash flow crisis, former president Cuthbert Dube then negotiated a payment deal for the coach’s salary with a local businessman.
The local businessman would cater for all of Pasuwa’s monetary obligations to help ease the burden on Zifa’s already-dry coffers.
However, Dube and his entire board were ousted at the weekend during an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) with a new board now set to be elected on December 5.
Zifa councillors overwhelmingly voted 51-3 in favour of revoking the mandate of Dube and his entire board at the EGM which was attended by Fifa and Caf representatives.
The payment of Pasuwa’s salary by the businessman is now in jeopardy according to sources close to the deal.
“There is going to be a problem regarding Pasuwa’s salary again because the person who was funding the deal is closely associated with Dube,” said the source.
“It is not clear now whether this benefactor will continue bankrolling the payments since Dube and his board have been booted out.”
Zifa spokesperson Xolisani Gwesela said he could not comment on the matter regarding Pasuwa’s contract and referred all questions to CEO Jonathan Mashingaidze.
Efforts to get in touch with Mashingaidze were futile.
However, Pasuwa’s manager Gibson Mahachi says they will not get involved in the internal politics at 53 Livingstone Avenue and will negotiate in good faith.
“On our side, the situation has not changed at all. We will not get involved in the politics at Zifa,” Mahachi said.
“Since our negotiations began, we have always been in discussions with Zifa CEO Jonathan Mashingaidze, who is the head of the secretariat. I’m sure whatever transpired at the weekend will not affect our contract negotiations.”
Mahachi said the negotiations to have Pasuwa sign a long-term contract were still on.
“Just yesterday, we sent Mashingaidze a reminder that we are still waiting for Zifa to come back to us with an offer,” he said.
“They are yet to come back to us but as you know time is running out because the Chan qualifiers are just around the corner.”
The Warriors are scheduled to take on Lesotho in the first leg of the final qualifier for the 2016 African Nations Championship (Chan) in Bulawayo next weekend.
The second leg will take place the following weekend in Maseru with the winner of the tie qualifying for the tournament to be held in Rwanda early next year.
Last week, Pasuwa named a strong squad to face The Crocodiles but it was before the changes at Zifa.
Goalkeepers: Takabva Mawaya, Elvis Chipezeze, Donovan Bernard
Defenders: Blessing Moyo, Hardlife Zvirekwi, Ocean Mushure, Teenage Hadebe, Bruce Kangwa, Justice Jangano, Lawrence Mhlanga
Midfielders: Ronald Chityo, Tafadzwa Kutinyu, Malvern Gaki, Pritchard Mpelele, Raphael Manuvire, Danny Phiri, Tichaona Chipunza, Marshal Mudehwe, Nqobizitha Masuku, Talent Chawapihwa
Strikers: Roderick Mutuma, Brian Muzondiwa, Edmore Chirambadare.
Source: The Daily News