Storm brews in Harare City camp

HARARE - A storm is brewing in the Harare City camp with coach Bigboy Mawiwi fighting to keep his job following a poor start to the 2014 Castle Premiership season.

The Daily News understands that that Mawiwi has fallen out with a number of City club officials and senior players, who are now pushing for the coach’s exit.

Harare City, who lost out the 2013 title only on goal difference to Dynamos, have had a nightmarish start to the new season, losing all their three matches so far.

The council-owned club has also lost had a bad run in the Bob90 Super Cup and the Independence Trophy competitions where they failed to win a single match.

In the league, City began with a crushing 3-0 defeat at the hands of Chicken Inn two weeks ago before succumbing to a 2-1 loss to CAPS United.

City’s miserable start to the season continued on Monday after they slipped to a third straight defeat, going down 1-0 to league newcomers ZPC Kariba at Gwanzura Stadium.

The club had started the season as one of the favourites to wrestle the title away from Dynamos but the poor results have left Mawiwi’s position on shaky ground at the club.

According to club insiders, Mawiwi has come under increasing pressure from the club’s hierarchy with each passing game.

The club officials have also questioned the coach’s decision to release former captain Godfrey Nguwodzawo and defender Edgar Tapera.

The duo was shunted out of the club at the end of last season after the expiry of their contracts.

The club insiders said Mawiwi refused to include the two in his plans, a decision which did not go down well with a number of club officials.

Some of the senior players were also not impressed by the way Mawiwi treated the duo, who had served the club with distinction during their time with the Sunshine Boys.

According to the insiders, Mawiwi’s decision to part ways with his assistant coach George Madira towards the end of last season has also come back to haunt him.

Mawiwi fell out with Madira under unclear circumstances after a crucial league match against Dynamos last season.

At that time, the Harare City were in a good position to win the league but went on to blew it on the final day of the season when they drew 2-2 with CAPS United.

Club officials feel that they would have won the league had Madira remained part of their technical staff.

Chairman Leslie Gwindi is reportedly the only one fighting in Mawiwi’s corner as the rest of the other club officials want the coach sacked.

This has created a huge rift in the club’s executive committee as the other executives feel Gwindi is being unreasonable in his stance to back the under fire coach.

According to club insiders, after Gwindi stood by Mawiwi, there were moves to frustrate the coach so that he would quit.

This paper understands that the club officials have delayed processing Mawiwi’s coaching licence from the Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) to make life difficult for him.

Mawiwi’s assistant coaches, Witness Mnkhuli and David George, have had their licences processed before the start of the season.

In all the matches that City has played so far, Mawiwi has had to negotiate with match officials so that he can be allowed to sit on the bench without the valid licence.

Efforts to get a comment from the City chairman Gwindi were fruitless as his phone went unanswered by the time of going to press.

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