TRANSLATED into English, a Chitembwe is ‘a patch of cloth’.
More informally in Shona a patch of cloth is also known as ‘dende’. And ‘dende’ is the most apt word to describe the fiasco that surrounded the deportation of head coach Zdravko Logausic on arrival at OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg, South Africa on his way to the Cosafa Championships that were played in the Eastern Cape in July.
Loga was detained at OR Tambo International Airport due to visa issues amid revelations that one of his assistants Lloyd Chitembwe was also not allowed entry into South Africa except when he is in transit.
But it is Chitembwe’s apparent short term memory loss regarding his standing in South Africa that makes this facade more ridiculous to say the least. How could he have ‘forgotten’ that a stint with Black Leopards resulted in the club having him declared a prohibited immigrant in that country?
While it is not yet clear what transpired between Chitembwe and Leopards, what is obvious is that they were and are probably still NOT happy with him especially given that a relationship that soured several years ago has still not been repaired enough to have had his status changed with the South African Immigration Department.
Last week the nation welcomed the appointment of ex-Warriors captain Benjani Mwaruwari as Warriors third assistant coach to Loga. The 43-year-old Mwaruwari, who led the national team at the 2006 Afcon finals was expected to start his new role early this next week when Zimbabwe host South Africa in a 2022 World Cup qualifier at the National Sports Stadium on Friday.
Mwaruwari joined a bloated technical team that has Dynamos head coach Tonderayi Ndiraya also as one of the assistant coaches to Loga with Tembo Chuma being the goalkeepers coach.
And one wonders how will Chitembwe be expected to continue working with the national team if he will be unable to be available for fixtures against Bafana Bafana in that country?
Ordinarily, Zifa should either relieve him of his duties or he does the honourable thing and resign!
After their showdown against Bafana Bafana, the Warriors will make the trip to Ethiopia.
Later on, during the campaign Loga’s boys will face their toughest encounter of the qualifiers when they take on Ghana in back-to-back-home and away clashes.
The Knowledge Musona captained side will conclude their quest to be part of the 2022 World Cup when they travel to South Africa, a land in which Chitembwe is barred from setting foot on.
So, it will be minus one member of the technical department in such a crucial away fixture against three-time participants at the global spectacle. South Africa failed to qualify for the last two editions of World Cup, with their last appearance dating back to 2010 when they were hosts of the global football showpiece.