Ricky Zililo, Senior Sports Reporter
LESS than two weeks after failing to save Harare City from being demoted in the Zimbabwean topflight league, seasoned ex-national team assistant coach Taurai Mangwiro has joined diamond rich Orapa United in Botswana.
Mangwiro becomes the third Zimbabwean to coach the diamond-powered Orapa United in the last five years after Madinda Ndlovu and Bongani Mafu. He was unveiled by the club at their 10th anniversary celebrations held on Wednesday night.
The ex-Harare City coach, who served as Zifa’s technical director in 2016, takes over from Mogomotsi Teenage Mpote who left Orapa United to take up the Botswana national team’s coaching job last month.
Orapa United, who are on position four on the log table with six points from three games, are confident that Mangwiro will guide them to success.
“We believe we have done the rigorous selection process when choosing the coach and we have the right man for the job,” said Orapa United vice chairman Thabo Themba Mmui at the unveiling of the coach which coincided with their 10-year celebrations.
Mangwiro will be hoping to do better than Ndlovu who guided Orapa United to the 2015/16 Mascom Top Eight title and also finished the season in second position. The following season, Orapa United were losing finalists in the Mascom Top Eight and also ended the season in position three. Ndlovu left Orapa United on position six with 11 points after eight games in the 2017/18 season as he headed to Highlanders.
Mafu then replaced Ndlovu, leading them to the Mascom Top 8 Cup final where they were beaten 4-2 by Township Rollers.
They finished third in the league behind Jwaneng Galaxy and champions Rollers.
Mafu then left the club in 2018 having won six of the 10 league matches, with two draws and the same number of defeats. They had 20 points, three behind log leaders and defending champions Township Rollers.
Mangwiro began his work yesterday, travelling with the team to Gaborone for tomorrow’s clash against second placed Jwaneng Galaxy. Orapa United will set a temporary camp in Gaborone and on Tuesday they take on the Extension Gunners at Lobatse Stadium.
Mangwiro joins fellow countrymen in Botswana’s Premiership, former national team coach Rahman Gumbo who is in charge of Sua Flamingoes, ex-Highlanders gaffer Mandla Mpofu, the man in charge of Masitaoka and ex-Bulawayo City’s Phlani “Beefy” Ncube (Nico United).
At Orapa United, Mangwiro joins the Zimbabwean trio of central midfielder Kelvin Bingala, defensive midfielder Tapiwa Nyamanjiva and winger Leeroy Mavunga. – @ZililoR