It is now confirmed. Tom Saintfiet has landed the Warriors coaching post.
This is despite vehement statements by Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) president Cuthbert Dube that he would not appoint the Belgian.
Saintfiet’s chances of getting into the hot seat appeared to have faded after protracted negotiations and the delay in naming him since Monday.
The former Namibia coach will now be assisted by caretaker coach Norman Mapeza and Black Mambas technical director Madinda Ndlovu.
Little-known Richard Tswatswa won the goalkeepers’ coach post while Shariff Mussa will be the team manager.
Friday Phiri, who had been touted to become the second assistant has been redeployed to the Under-23 team where he will be assisted by Joey Antipas and Darlington Dodo, with Highlanders legend Peter Nkomo as goalkeepers’ coach.
Gunners manager Wellington Mpandare will serve in the same capacity with the team.
Monomotapa coach Taurai Mangwiro becomes the Under-20 mentor where he will be deputised by Mandla Mpofu and Innocent Chogugudza.
Dynamos gaffer Elvis Chiweshe, who had been touted to take over the Under-23 post, was named the Under-17 mentor along with his assistants Gift Lunga, Weekly Mwale and James Muhala.
But the talking point remains the Warriors post. Mapeza, who led the team to an impressive 1-1 away draw with Liberia, was the favourite for the fans and Dube.
Dube even told a Sunday newspaper that he was not going to appoint Saintfiet.
He said: “There were recommendations to appoint the Belgian coach but as the president I have the final word and that decision will have to be changed.
“We will soon announce the national team coach and I can assure the nation that we won’t be getting the Belgian coach.”
As usual, the Harare businessman did a somersault and never lived up to his word.
Meanwhile, sources yesterday said Mapeza was resisting his appointment: “Zifa is trying to convince Mapeza to work with Saintfiet because they think he is crucial to the set-up.
“But Mapeza is refusing and there was a meeting between Zifa officials and him last night.”
Mapeza could not be reached for comment.