WELLINGTON MPANDARE, who has been the acting team manager of the Warriors in the past few months, has said he was not relieved of his post but, instead, asked to be excused from the upcoming CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup assignments because of commitments elsewhere. Former Young Warriors team manager, Patrick Mutesva, will be the Warriors team manager at the CECAFA Cup tournament in Kenya where Zimbabwe are participating as a guest nation. Mpandare met ZIFA president Philip Chiyangwa in a lengthy meeting in the capital yesterday and told The Herald that reports suggesting he was fired from his post were not accurate.
“I had a lengthy discussion with the ZIFA president because they are the appointing authority and I had to discuss a number of issues with him given the social media blitz suggesting that I had been fired,’’ said Mpandare.
“I also needed to update him on the two matches that we played in Lesotho and in Namibia in which some new players from Britain were drafted into the side. As the one who was the manager during that tour of duty, the players have been giving me feedback about their experience and such information also has to be passed to the mother body. I have to make it clear that I was never in the frame for the CECAFA Cup matches because of the commitments I have outside the country, at around the time the tournament will be held, on ministry business. I will be engaged with PHD (Prophetic Healing and Deliverance Ministry) business outside the country at the same time the Warriors will be in Kenya and I could not be in two places at one time.’’ Mpandare, who is the Yadah Stars consultant, said while he was committed to serve his country as part of the Warriors set-up, there are times when his work at the ministry has to come first and cannot be sacrificed. Remember that I am at Yadah Stars full-time and the national team job is part-time and a number of coaches who have their jobs at local clubs have also been doing some part-time work for the Warriors,’’ said Mpandare.
“These coaches, just like me, first have to get clearance from their employers and where it is feasible they have availed themselves for the service to their country and we have seen some great improvements, including our good start in the AFCON 2019 campaign and our success in the COSAFA Castle Cup. But, if you recall well, even the ZIFA vice-president (Omega Sibanda) told the nation recently that Norman Mapeza, who coached the Warriors in their first AFCON qualifier against Liberia which we won 3-0, asked ZIFA to be excused from consideration from national duty for now. Clearly, his focus right now is to try and make sure that he fulfils his mission to try and win the league championship with FC Platinum because he is contracted to them as their employee even though he has availed himself for service for his country in the past. That is the same arrangement with me and reports that I have been fired are not true but are meant to embarrass my reputation when the truth is that I have asked to be excused for now.’’