By Langton Nyakwenda
Former Warriors coach Kalisto Pasuwa is joining what has become a permanent feature at Zifa: the long queue of people waiting for the football association to pay what it owes them.
And if one considers that Sunday Chidzambwa, Rahman Gumbo, Madinda Ndlovu and Norman Mapeza – who all coached the Zimbabwe men’s senior national soccer team years ago – are still waiting for the thousands they are owed, Pasuwa may have to exercise the patience of Job.
Brazilian coach Jose Claudinei Georgini, better known as Valinhos, took Zifa to Fifa and the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Switzerland to recover US$81 000 he was owed, and Zimbabwe was barred from taking part in the 2018 World Cup qualifiers for breach of contract.
Belgian gaffer Tom Saintfiet, owed US$180 000, was paid off by businessman Wicknell Chivayo after Fifa threatened to bar Zimbabwe from participating in the 2022 World Cup qualifiers.
It is unlikely Pasuwa will turn to Switzerland for relief – for now at least – but getting roughly US$100 000 out of Zifa any time soon might prove to be about as straightforward as squeezing water from a stone.
Pasuwa has returned the official vehicle he was using after his tenure ended on February 28 following a forgettable African Cup of Nations campaign.
Zifa reportedly owe Pasuwa nine months unpaid salary (US$63 000), a signing on fee (US$15 000) and an Afcon qualification bonus (US$20 000).
Pasuwa also used his own money on fuel and the coach expects a refund on this.
His manager, Gibson Mahachi, said they were waiting to hear from Zifa, but allayed fears of a standoff between the two parties.
“The coach has served his notice period, he returned the car and we are now waiting to hear from Zifa. However, I do not think this is an issue that we can worry about. Everything is under control for now,” said Mahachi.
Zifa board member (finance) Philemon Machana said the football association was committed to paying Pasuwa but only after thorough reconciliation of the figures.
“The intention to pay his dues is always there but we are still doing some reconciliation and computing all the figures. Once everything is done we will sit down with Pasuwa and agree on the outstanding figures,” he said.
Chivayo pledged to pay Pasuwa’s salary but according to the coach’s camp, the controversial businessman – who once served jail-time for fraud – has not walked the talk over the last nine months.
“You have to understand also that all the things being equal Pasuwa would not be owed any outstanding salary if he was paid directly by Zifa. His salary came through a benefactor and we only got to know recently that he wasn’t getting his dues,” said Machana.
Zifa’s list of creditors is long and astounding.
CBZ Bank wants US$1,7 million, Pandhari Lodge is waiting for US$400 000 as is Buymore Investments. Led Travel & Tours is owed US$200 000; while Zimra, BancABC, Horst Webber, African Sun, the Rainbow Tourism Group, Selous Hotel, the City of Harare, TelOne, Viking Security, Jongwe Printers, Nicoz Diamond, Zesa, Beta Ball Sports, Logistica Shipping, the police force, Palm Lodge and Cresta Oasis Hotel also make up the list of those waiting in line.
Former Warriors manager Sharrif Musa, Lazarus Mhurushomana and Henrietta Rushwaya, too, are owed money.
Join the queue, Kallisto Pasuwa.The Sunday Mail