AFTER enduring three consecutive months without getting his monthly salary, Highlanders head coach Mandla “Lulu” Mpofu is undoubtedly one of the football gaffers who are today feeling on top of the world.
So dire was the situation at Bosso that some of their players, including captain Ariel Sibanda and his deputy, Nqobizitha Masuku, had been threatening to quit the club over unpaid salaries.
However, this has now changed, in the wake of the Sakunda Holdings deal, in which the company will pour US$5,3 million into the coffers of Highlanders and Dynamos for the next three years.
Even the welfare of the coaches and players is set to change.
Mpofu together with his Dynamos counterpart Tonderai Ndiraya on Wednesday got brand new Ford Everest vehicles courtesy of Sakunda Holdings while the two teams’ captains Ariel Sibanda and Patson Jaure received Ford Rangers.
“It’s a fact that we endured some painful moments at Highlanders. Going for three months without a salary is not a joke. I’m glad we remained professional with my other members of the technical team and today I’m driving one of the best cars in the world. Patience pays,” said an ecstatic Mpofu who was on Wednesday named Warriors second assistant coach in a set-up that has Norman Mapeza as head coach, Taurai Mangwiro as the first assistant and the goalkeepers coach being Energy Murambadoro.
Asked on his appointment in the Warriors technical department, the outspoken Mpofu said he was grateful to Mapeza and Zifa for showing confidence in his technical abilities.
“I can’t lie, I’m a proud man. It’s always pleasing to work for your country and I’m very much grateful to Norman Mapeza who has shown so much confidence as we have previously worked together. I’m also grateful to Zifa for not doubting my technical abilities. I’m also thankful to the Highlanders family for giving me the greenlight to be part of the senior national team coaches. I’m ready to do well for the nation,” said Mpofu, a former Chicken Inn, Railstars and Bantu Rovers mentor.
Mpofu and Mapeza worked together in the Warriors technical set-up on an interim basis when Zimbabwe beat Liberia 3-0 at National Sports Stadium in an 2019 Afcon qualifier match.