Eddie Chikamhi Harare Bureau
ZIFA have approached the Sports and Recreation Commission to intervene in their contract talks with Warriors coach Callisto Pasuwa after the parties failed to strike common ground.
Pasuwa’s contract negotiations with Zifa have been facing challenges since last week as the coach’s management and the association’s team, led by board member Edzai Kasinauyo, could not strike an agreement in key areas that include salaries and the duration of the contract.
But in their efforts to bring the matter to finality before the national team leaves for the Africa Nations Championship in Rwanda this weekend, the association yesterday wrote to the Sports Commission seeking the sports governing body to mediate in the impasse.
Pasuwa’s manager Gibson Mahachi confirmed they had a long meeting with the SRC director-general Charles Nhemachena where he emerged confident that a breakthrough could be found.
“We had a long and fruitful meeting with the director-general this afternoon (yesterday). I should be getting a feedback from him before the end of the day and I’m sure the involvement of the SRC will bring finality to these contract negotiations,” said Mahachi.
Pasuwa has continued with his preparations with the national team while negotiations for his contract take place in the background.
Unfortunately, there hasn’t been much progress after the coach refused to accept the offer tabled by Zifa. The former Dynamos man has worked for 15 months without a contract since his appointment in September 2014 to work with the national Under-23 side and later on the senior team. Zifa are understood to have tabled $3,000 salary offer for the coach but Pasuwa’s handlers have turned it down, arguing it is even below what some Premiership coaches are earning.
They want $7,000 a month, something that the cash-strapped Zifa said they cannot afford.
There are also other issues relating to duration and the working conditions which the coach feels are not fair. Mahachi feels Pasuwa should be rewarded with a long-term contract after sacrificing for the Warriors during the year that he worked without a salary and getting only allowances, which were only paid up by the new Zifa board last month.
Pasuwa is set to lead the team to the fourth edition of the Chan tournament in Rwanda this weekend.
Mahachi said he was not sure of the future of the coach if they still fail to reach an agreement.
“I don’t know what will happen because we’ve failed to agree on almost everything with Zifa representatives,” said Mahachi.
“So it’s not clear whether he goes to Chan or not. The coach wasn’t on salary all along and we’re saying let’s not talk about that and try to start afresh by getting into a binding contract.
“We believe the coach has to get what he deserves but then the association has made it clear they don’t have the money to pay him what he’s asking. But if you look at it what we’re asking is basic yet what they’re proposing is even below what some coaches in the Premiership are getting. So someone, either the coach or Zifa, has to make a decision because we want to be as realistic as possible.”