The country’s supreme football body, Zifa, finally tabled a contract acceptable to the Warriors coach, Kalisto Pasuwa, yesterday on a day their major benefactor Wicknell Chivayo delivered the promised vehicle for use by the gaffer while also pledging to pay his salary for the next two years. BY TAWANDA TAFIRENYIKA
Wicknell Chivayo (centre) hands over the keys of the brand new Toyota Hilux to Warriors coach Kalisto Pasuwa while Zifa president Phillip Chiyangwa looks on yesterday
Over and above that, Chivayo also promised to take care of the air tickets of the foreign-based Warriors when they report for duty, setting the stage for Pasuwa to concentrate on his work without worrying too much about players’ availability and welfare.
Pasuwa’s camp and Zifa agreed on a two-year contract which the former Dynamos mentor signed later in the evening as he puts focus on qualifying Zimbabwe to the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) finals.
Zimbabwe will face Swaziland home and away in Group L fixtures next month, hoping to collect maximum points, which would go a long way in appeasing the fans who were disappointed by the team’s early exit from the African Nations Championship tournament.
Speaking to reporters during the handover ceremony of a brand new vehicle – a 2016 Toyota D4D new shape 3-litre V8 double cab – which had been pledged by Chivayo, Zifa president Phillip Chiyangwa said the contract issue was now a done deal.
“We don’t want to hear about the coach’s contract anymore. There was a meeting between Pasuwa and Zifa representative Edzai Kasinauyo yesterday (Sunday) and they reached an agreement. The contract is going to be signed today (yesterday). He is one of the best paid coaches in the region,” Chiyangwa said without revealing finer details.
Later on last night, Pasuwa’s representative Gibson Mahachi and Zifa communications manager Xolisani Gwesela both confirmed that a contract had been signed.
Chivayo said he would also pay the coach his salary for the next two years.
“I have already secured the coach’s salary for the next two years,” Chivayo said, adding that the problems of flying in the foreign-based players from their bases for national duty was now a thing of the past.
He said each player would be flown from wherever he is in first class. “We are going to fly them in first class from wherever they are,” declared Chivayo.
After he was handed over the vehicle by Chivayo, Pasuwa admitted that the ball was now in his court to bring success.
He said he would now focus his energies on his job without distractions as the working environment was no longer mechanical as it has been since took over as coach a year ago.
“Yes, everything was agreed on yesterday (Sunday) and we are about to sign the contract. I think everything is okay, it’s now left for me to do my job. The contract we agreed on runs for two years,” the Warriors gaffer said.
Pasuwa said he would try to do well in the Afcon campaign where he is expected to lead Zimbabwe to the finals for the first time since they made it to Egypt in 2006 under Charles Mhlauri.
He said his squad will be dominated by foreign-based players, but ruled out England-based Brendon Galloway.
Pasuwa said he had spoken to the Everton fullback’s parents and was told the player was not available to play for Zimbabwe.
Chiyangwa expressed confidence that with the foreign-based players like captain Willard Katsande and Khama Billiat whom he said was a proven goal scorer, the team was capable of beating any African team.
He said they had also cleared the debt owed to Belgian coach Tom Saintfiet, thus avoiding sanctions from Fifa, who had threatened to throw Zimbabwe out of the 2022 World Cup qualifiers if they failed to settle it.
The Zifa boss also revealed that their partner Chivayo would also buy another vehicle for Mighty Warriors coach Shadreck Mlauzi.
“I have also entered into another agreement with the sponsor to buy another vehicle for the coach of the women’s football team. It will not be like this one, but it will be a brand new vehicle,” said Chiyangwa.
Zimbabwe got off to a good start in their battle for a place at the biennial soccer tournament after beating the Flames of Malawi 2-1 in their backyard last year before drawing 1-1 against Guinea in Harare – a result that saw them sharing the top spot with Swaziland on four points. Zimbabwe will first travel first to Swaziland before hosting their opponents in Harare a week later.