Robson Sharuko and Petros Kausiyo
ZIFA partner Wicknell Chivayo has moved in quickly to ease some of the tension between the country’s football controlling body and Warriors’ coach Callisto Pasuwa over a contract for the gaffer by securing a vehicle for the popular coach.
The Harare businessman, whose financial muscle helped ZIFA pay part of the debt that is owed to Belgian coach, Tom Saintfiet, and ensured that Zimbabwe were not expelled from a second straight World Cup without kicking a ball, announced recently that he would secure a vehicle for Pasuwa.
Chivayo said the vehicle would be delivered in the first week of February, but the businessman has moved in to ease some of the tension, which has been sparked by the disagreement between the association and the coach over the contract that the gaffer should sign, by purchasing a brand new vehicle for the coach.
The Harare businessman has already unveiled a $1 million sponsorship package for ZIFA from which the association is expected to revive junior football development programmes that have been in limbo for several years now.
Part of that package has also gone towards paying off the $180 000 that ZIFA owed to former Warriors coach Saintfiet and Chivayo also felt that, while it was important to take care of the Belgian’s interests, it was also key for them to ensure that Pasuwa was well catered for.
Chivayo has now secured the vehicle that Pasuwa should use and told The Herald that he has already paid for it in full and he expects that his gesture shows that there were people who appreciate what the coach was doing for this country.
The Harare businessman, who was in Zambia yesterday, took to social media to confirm the development with the ZIFA benefactor posting pictures of the vehicle on his Instagram account and also making his comments on the matter.
The vehicle is a 2016 Toyota D4D new shape 3 litre V8 double cab and will now be handed to Pasuwa when the coach returns from the Warriors’ tour of duty at the African Nations Championship finals which burst into life in Kigali, Rwanda on Saturday.
“I just paid a quick small 69 thousand dollars yesterday for this car (pictured above) which I am wholeheartedly giving to the national team coach on his return from CHAN,” Chivhayo said on his Instagram account.
“You can be a billionaire, own a beautiful mansion and a private jet, drive nice cars but you still need to understand very clearly (that) success is measured by your ability to give and how many people you bless.
“If I fall sick today, the whole world would shake with prayers from people fasting and begging the Almighty God to spare my life.
“The best dreams are the ones you help others achieve and so, even though I’ve received a lot of threats and criticism about this ZIFA support, it must be noted that I will never ever be intimidated for supporting national programmes and I will do whatever it takes to ensure that soccer in Zimbabwe improves.”
Chivayo also took time to thank President Mugabe for initiating policies that have ensured that Zimbabweans who work hard can now prosper and said he was only giving back to this country what the nation has given him.
ZIFA president, Philip Chiyangwa, in announcing that Chivayo had committed himself to securing car for Pasuwa, tasked the Association’s negotiating team to ensure that the provision of the car was included among the coach’s perks in the contract.
It however, emerged last night that the follow-up meeting on the coach’s contract, which had been scheduled to take place between Pasuwa’s manager Gibson Mahachi and the Sport and Recreation Commission did not take place.
Mahachi had on Tuesday told The Herald that they had met with Sports Commission director-general Charles Nhemachena to iron out the contract talks that seemed to have been pegged back by the impasse between ZIFA and Pasuwa on some clauses.
“We had a long and fruitful meeting with the director-general this afternoon (Tuesday). I should be getting feedback from him before the end of the day I am sure the involvement of the SRC will bring finality to these contract negotiations,’’ Mahachi said.
Following indications that Mahachi is expected to travel out of the country today, while the Warriors are looking at leaving for Rwanda in the early hours of Saturday, it would appear that Pasuwa’s contract talks may be put on hold until after the CHAN tournament if the matter is not brought to finality this morning.
The former Dynamos coach has, to his eternal credit, continued with his team’s preparations and yesterday he named a final 23-man side that did not have any major surprises.
Pasuwa has had 27 players in camp and dropped the quartet of Tichaona Chipunza, Talent Chawapiwa, George Majika and Brian Muzondiwa.
The coach’s selection was also largely influenced by the fact that injuries have dogged Zimbabwe’s preparations and Pasuwa was inclined to pick the more versatile players such as skipper Hardlife Zvirekwi, Ocean Mushure, Bruce Kangwa, Blessing Moyo and Nqobizitha Masuku who can be used in different positions and roles.
But with Chivayo throwing his full weight behind them, the Warriors, who wind up their preparations for their tour of duty in Rwanda a motivated lot after the businessman also pledged to give them allowances and bonuses during their stay in the Great Lakes region.