Petros Kausiyo and Eddie Chikamhi
ZIFA yesterday ended any lingering doubts about their decision to retain Warriors coach Callisto Pasuwa when they handed him both his contract and the brand new vehicle donated by the association’s partner Wicknell Chivayo.
Pasuwa was presented with the Toyota D4D new shape 3-litre V8 double cab at a ceremony that was graced by Chivayo, ZIFA president Philip Chiyangwa, his deputy Omega Sibanda, board member Felton Kamambo and the Northern Region leadership of Willard Manyengavana and Sweeney Mushonga.
Later in the day, Pasuwa put pen to paper in full view of Chiyangwa, ZIFA chief executive Jonathan Mashingaidze, board member technical Edzai Kasinauyo, who has been representing the association during the contract talks, Kamambo and the coach’s manager Gibson Mahachi.
It also emerged that the contract, whose protracted talks had at one stage attracted the involvement of the Sport and Recreation Commission, is a two-year deal that will be reviewed and is renewable every year.
The conclusion of the talks with ZIFA and the availability of the full salary package and the delivery of the vehicle by Chivayo leaves Pasuwa with peace of mind and the coach immediately pledged to worker even harder to ensure the Warriors qualify for the African Cup of Nations in Gabon early next year.
Pasuwa’s men are joint top of Group L with Swaziland and will face Sihlangu in back-to-back fixtures when their campaign resumes in March.
Chiyangwa, in paying tribute to Kasinauyo for handling the negotiations with Mahachi, shrugged off media questions about the length of the deal and conditions attached to the contract, insisting it would subsist for as long as he is the ZIFA president.
“The contract we have given the coach is forever. I don’t look forward to Pasuwa leaving office as long as I am president.
“As long as I am ZIFA president, he will remain our coach. We are all happy with the details of the contract. I had tasked our board member (technical) Edzai Kasinauyo to negotiate with Pasuwa’s manager and I am happy that the moment we have been waiting for has come.
“I am happy too with Mahachi’s contributions to the negotiations, I had never met him in person as I was not handling the talks, but he made very important input and I can assure you that Pasuwa is one of the best paid national coaches in the region,’’ Chiyangwa said.
Although Chiyangwa maintained that the finer details of the agreement are privy to the employer (ZIFA) and the employee (Pasuwa), the two parties are understood to have agreed on a deal in which the four-time Premiership championship winning coach would be earning around $6 000 plus perks. On a busy day for Chiyangwa and his management, the ZIFA boss began the day by chairing a board meeting at the association’s headquarters that was followed by the handover ceremony of the coach’s vehicle.
Before the early evening contract signing ceremony, Pasuwa took delivery of the vehicle that Chivayo provided, with the coach later driving away in his new car.
Chiyangwa then ended the day’s business by first going through the contents of the contract together with his board members on one side and Pasuwa and his manager Gibson Mahachi on the other side.
Chivayo, who has become ZIFA’s benefactor, officially handed the vehicle that he bought for the coach’s use and revealed that he had availed to Chiyangwa the full package of Pasuwa’s salaries for the next two years. The youthful businessman also proved that he is ZIFA’s all-weather friend by revealing that he would soon purchase a vehicle for the Mighty Warriors coach Shadreck Mlauzi and also bankroll the senior Women team’s preparations for the Rio Olympic Games.
“As a patriotic Zimbabwean I will continue to assist our football and my assistance will be to any national team but not the small clubs. As long as it is a national team, whether Under-17 or Under-20, I am willing to support. From now on the national teams should not suffer.
“We will be making announcements of our support gradually as we go,’’ Chivayo said. Chiyangwa also pledged to give Pasuwa 50 litres of fuel a week to enable the former Dynamos coach to undertake the talent identification assignments and assessments of players that the gaffer would be eyeing for national teams call-ups. The ZIFA president paid glowing tribute to Chivayo for helping them pay the debt owed to short-lived former Warriors coach Tom Saintfiet and then delivering on all his promises to fund the various national teams’ commitments.
Chiyangwa said with Chivayo in their corner, the association would not encounter problems with the coach’s salaries after their sponsor availed the money for the next two years and also pledged to fly in the foreign-based players “first class’’ when called up for duty.
With the African Nations Championships disaster put behind them, Chiyangwa said the Warriors are now focusing on their immediate assignment in the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Swaziland next month.
“We are considering our best players outside the country. Those based in South Africa, we can see their record every week that they are performing very well.
“We don’t want to bring a team that we will doubt even before it goes into the match. We are assembling a strong team together with the coach. We don’t want to lose cheaply,” said Chiyangwa.
Pasuwa said he was now directing his energies on the coming assignment against Swaziland. He said they are hoping to bring most of the foreign-based players, but was not sure about the likes of Tendai Darikwa and Brendan Galloway, who are currently enjoying their game in England.
“I am trying my best to do well. As you know we have an assignment coming up next month and we need to play better so that we can finish off on a high note.
“We had wanted all our players but the last time I tried to call some of these foreign-based players like Galloway we talked to their parents and they indicated that they are not available to play for Zimbabwe,” said Pasuwa. The coach is, however, happy with the kind of form being enjoyed by some of his players who include skipper Willard Katsande, talismanic forward Knowledge Musona and Mamelodi Sundowns winger Khama Billiat at their respective clubs.