HARARE – Warriors coach Kalisto Pasuwa will not resign, as demanded by Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) president Philip Chiyangwa at the weekend.
The Harare businessman has literally petitioned the ex-Dynamos gaffer to relinquish his post after Zimbabwe’s disastrous performance at the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) finals in Gabon last month.
The Warriors were booted out of the tournament in the group stages following defeats to Senegal and Tunisia while picking up a single point in the draw against Algeria.
Pasuwa’s manager Gibson Mahachi said Zifa is supposed to make a decision on his client’s future not the other way round.
“The issue is very simple. Pasuwa was given a job to do by Zifa and after that they were supposed to review his performance at the end of the first year,” Mahachi told the Daily News.
“That review was conducted last week and we are now waiting on Zifa to come back to us with the results of that process.
“Zifa are the ones who are supposed to tell us whether they want Pasuwa to continue with the team if they are happy with him or if they are terminating the contract.”
Mahachi said Zifa and Chiyangwa were playing to the gallery by rushing to the media when there are proper channels to address the matter.
“Our communication from the first day has been very direct; whenever we wanted to address an issue, we have written to Zifa with our concerns,” Mahachi said.
“It is surprising that we are now reading in the newspapers the Zifa president communicating to us. When we came up with the contract, we sat down for a meeting and nothing was communicated through the media.
“When they wanted the coach to attend the review meeting, Zifa wrote to us directly and didn’t communicate through the media. So when they want to give us feedback after that meeting, they should use the proper communication channels.”
Mahachi said his client would be willing to step down from the hot seat provided that Zifa follows proper procedure.
“If we sit down, I’m sure an amicable solution to this situation can be reached but that cannot happen if Zifa are using the media without talking to us directly,” he said.
“These things happen in football all the time; coaches are hired and fired all the time but it depends on how you do it.
“Who knows what will happen in the next three or four years? Football is a dynamic industry; maybe Zifa would need Pasuwa in the future.
“How then will he come back to the national team if the current contract is not terminated by mutual consent by both parties?”
Pasuwa has always had a love-hate relationship with Zifa since Chiyangwa and his current board came into office in December 2015. Zifa sacked Pasuwa and his entire technical team that same month after the association reached an impasse with players shortly before the 2016 African Nations Championships (Chan) finals in Rwanda over bonuses and allowances.
The association blamed Pasuwa for influencing the players to demand hefty allowances shortly before the tournament.
However, Zifa reversed that decision after only three days following huge public outcry with Sports minister Makhosini Hlongwane also getting involved in the matter.
The Warriors coach has also not been paid his salary since May 2016 despite Harare businessman Wicknell Chivayo promising to cater for Pasuwa’s welfare.
Shortly before the team’s departure for the Afcon tournament in Gabon, the players also boycotted a government-organised send-off ceremony which then acting president Emmerson Mnangagwa was supposed to be the guest of honour.
The Warriors were demanding payment of their appearance fees and allowances before the tournament.
Sources told the Daily News Zifa believe Pasuwa was also behind the boycott which brought a lot of humiliation to the association.
Government has even tasked the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) to investigate the debacle.
SRC commissioners Titus Zvomuya, Joseph Mungwari and John Falkenberg will spearhead the investigation and have been given until February 28 to present their findings.
Pasuwa’s fate was effectively sealed last Friday when the Zifa High Performance Committee met in the capital and recommended the coach’s sacking.