Confusion over Sables coach

HARARE – The Zimbabwe Rugby Union (ZRU) says they have sacked Sables coach Cyprian Mandenge but on the other hand, the coach says the decision is null and void.

ZRU chief executive Blessing Chiutare, who has been tasked to run the union’s affairs after the suspension of the board led by Nyararai Sibanda by the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC), said Mandenge and his technical team were dismissed 11 days ago.

“There was a review of the Sables’ performance by the technical review committee in which the then head coach Mandenge was called in and whose composition included the suspended vice president Tapiwa Mangezi, director of rugby Nonsikelelo Sibanda and myself at the union’s boardroom,” Chiutare told the Daily News.

“The meeting concluded that the technical department should be dissolved owing to the poor results the team posted in the Rugby Afrique Africa Gold Cup where we finished just a place above the relegation zone,” Chitaure said.

“The coach was informed about this although he had his arguments where he pointed out that he had not been given any Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and therefore according to him he had not failed because the team had managed to remain in Group 1 A.”

Chiutare added: “He’s free to reapply for the job and there’s nothing that can stop him from doing so. The director of rugby has been asked to flight an advert for the vacant posts.

“I have been in this post for only three months but my understanding is that there’s no way a flagship rugby team like the Sables can operate without an assistant coach if we can have assistants at Under-16 and Under-18 levels. The norm is we appoint the head coach then together with the coach, discuss his assistants.”

Mandenge, however, said he remains in charge of the team since he is not answerable to the Chiutare.

He said he only received an email notifying him of being relieved of his duties three days ago (Wednesday August 16) and not on August 8 the day of the meeting with ZRU.

“It’s just people who are not professional because it’s not professional for them to send me an email now and how can a vice president who was suspended by the SRC take part in the decision making that has a bearing on the affairs of rugby, I doesn’t add up?” Mandenge said.

“Secondly, I don’t report to Blessing (Chitaure) but answerable to the director of rugby and the reason why Zimbabwe is in this position is because we have people in the wrong positions, he’s not qualified to comment on that.

“Instead of us planning the way forward we are busy politicking and other countries like Kenya are playing a full Test against Hong Kong then they will participate in a Four Nations tournament in preparation for next year’s Africa Cup but we are doing nothing.”

SRC board chairperson Edward Siwela said he is confident normalcy will return to national rugby soon after successfully identifying individuals to work in the ZRU interim committee.

“There’s a commission of enquiry looking into all the problems in rugby...it took a bit of time because we had to be clear with these individuals we are recommending to the Sports minister whether they were interested in constituting this interim committee and I’m glad they all gave a nod,” Siwela said.

“We are hopeful that normalcy to some extent returns to rugby...at the moment without the interim committee the CEO is the person overseeing the affairs of rugby and he’s free to make decisions that he sees are in the interests of the nation and the rugby community at large but if the coach is not happy he has to confront the CEO with facts and confront him to take the issue with the SRC.”

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.