Open letter to SRC Chairman Gerald Mlotshwa

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Dear Mr. Mlotshwa 

I marvel Sir, and I’m sure so does every football-loving Zimbabwean, the manner in which the SRC worked hand in glove with the ZIFA secretariat, in organising the Warriors’ participation at the AFCON finals in Cameroon.

The fact that the commission took the bull by the horn after suspending the Felton Kamambo-led board, to organise a smooth-sailing campaign for the Warriors, is something praiseworthy.

For the first time in a very long time, we had a scandal-free AFCON campaign in which the players were well-remunerated and on time.That is something we used to dream of, as a football-passionate nation.

I listened to you Sir, as you spoke eloquently yesterday at the FBC Holdings winning bonuses hand-over ceremony, articulating the Commission’s vision to proffesionalize the national team, in an attempt to create a conducive environment for success.

I do believe Mr. Mlotshwa, just like you do, that the team can actually succeed, given adequate resources and continued support from not only the SRC, but Zimbabweans at large.

The only hindrance Sir, as far as the team having the potential to succeed, is actually the man in the dugout- Coach Norman Mapeza.

We are talking about a coach under whose guidance Sir, the team has failed in two different campaigns- the World Cup qualifying campaign and recently the AFCON finals.

I respectfully-disagree Sir, with your sentiments yesterday, that Mapeza achieved in Cameroon, under very difficult circumstances.

Perhaps you can enlighten me, what exactly did Mapeza achieve in Cameroon?

Does the fact that Zimbabwe beat Guinea in the last group game, which was a dead rubber, in any way sanitize the fact that this was a failed AFCON campaign?

I know that you are not entirely the person who makes the final decision on who the next Warriors coach is, after the expiration of Mapeza’s contract but the I’m sure the commission is consulted regardless.

Isn’t it wise that since the SRC is willing to continue supporting the team financially while organisations like FBC have come on board, to advertise the Warriors coach post and attract decent foreign coaches who are capable of steering the team forward.

Foreign coaches differ Sir- there are cheap ones, then there are decent foreign coaches who are costly to pay but can bring results.

Isn’t it time to make such a sacrifice for our national team and offer a decent package which can attract a decent foreign coach?

In suggesting for a foreign coach Sir, a decent one by the way, I’m not implying that local coaches are not good enough but who is that we have not tried?

Almost every respected local coach has had at least two stints with the national team but the result was the same.

For the record Mr. Mlotshwa, I have huge respect for Mapeza as a coach, former captain and as a fellow Zimbabwean.

I have respect for his contribution to Zimbabwean football and all that he has achieved in the game but as far as scaling the Warriors to dizzy heights is concerned, he is just not capable Sir, and there is overwhelming evidence to prove that.

Once again Sir, a big thank you for all your efforts to make the Warriors a better team.

Yours Sincerely

Lawrence Mangenje 

Sports Journalist