By Raymond Jaravaza
One hundred and fifty-five days later and Norman Mapeza’s handlers feel vindicated for inserting “protecting clauses” in his contract with South African club Chippa United.
Mapeza tendered a surprise resignation letter to Chippa United last Tuesday ending a brief flirtation with the club notorious for firing coaches willy-nilly.
And the decision to protect their client from the trigger-happy club owner Siviwe Chippa Mpengesi is proving to be an ingenious idea, five months after the gaffer signed on the dotted line.
“It’s one of the major things that we discussed and there were some clauses in the contract that we were not comfortable with because we felt that they would leave the coach exposed,” said football agent and Mapeza’s manager Gibson Mahachi.
When Mapeza signed a contract with Chippa United, the club executive wanted to review his performance after three games, a demand that was shot down by his handlers.
“We discussed those issues, including a clause where they had said they wanted to review the performance of the coach after three games, and we said that wasn’t feasible since the coach was coming into a side that already had players which he didn’t recruit and will need more time to understand the system and make decisions.”
“They agreed to waive that and we also got some guarantees that protect the coach and, at the end of the day, we struck some agreement,” added Mahachi.
Mpengesi himself is on record telling the South African media that Mapeza’s contract will guarantee him a handsome pay cheque in the event he left the club.
At one time the South African businessman likened Mapeza to revered Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane after the former FC Platinum gaffer steered the team out of the relegation zone.
Chippa United have been coached by another former Warriors player, Wilfred Mugeyi before, while former Harare City and now Highlanders coach Mark Harrison also had a run.
The Chilli Boys changed coaches twice in a space of two weeks, with Clint Larsen being the first to get the boot and Duran Francis lasting just two matches as an interim coach.
Close to 20 coaches have coached the team in the last nine years. B Metro