Sikhumbuzo Moyo, Senior Sports Reporter
Former Highlanders attacking midfielder Valentine Ndaba has made shocking allegations of tribalism against former Highlanders’ coach Bongani Mafu.
Ndaba made the startling allegations while responding to a Facebook post by Innocent Mupatsi during a debate on which local coach should succeed Zdravko Logarušić as the Warriors’ head coach.
Mupatsi said: “I would rather have Mafu, (Rodwell) Dhlakama, (Tawurayi) Mangwiro than (Benjani) Mwaruwari any day. We cannot turn the Warriors into a boys’ club by promoting cartels and player power. The guys who brought Loga should excuse themselves in the recruitment of the next coach(es).”
As the debate raged on, Ndaba, who joined Highlanders on a two-year contract in 2014 from Shabanie Mine, threw in his allegations.
“Mafu is worse, he (is) a tribalist, he can’t coach the Warriors,” wrote Ndaba.
When reminded that he was making serious allegations against Mafu, Ndaba stuck to his guns and said he wasn’t afraid of the truth.
“I am not afraid of the truth, this concerns my country,” he responded.
He said Mafu was his coach at Highlanders and he knew what he was talking about.
Mafu dismissed Ndaba’s allegations as his personal opinion.
“I suggest you ask (Wellington) Mpandare George Chigova, (Ovidy) Karuru (Talent) Chahwapiwa, Ocean Mushure, King Nadolo and others about such allegations and whether I can coach Zimbabwe. I have and I can. I will coach Zimbabwe with players good enough to play for our country,” said Mafu.
Asked if he has ever judged a player’s perfomance based on his tribe, the Hwange FC head coach said: “Not at all. You lose and win by the ability of your players, not their tribal backgrounds.”
Ndaba is not the first player who has used the tribal card soon after leaving Highlanders.