BY HENRY MHARA ARMY side Black Rhinos yesterday fired coach Herbert Maruwa for what they said was “unbecoming behaviour during match days which has tainted the corporate image of the club and the organisation at large”.
Maruwa, who is believed to be a member of a popular apostolic church, has made headlines this season after he was involved in several scuffles with opposite benches during matches over the use of black magic (juju).
Club legend Stanford “Stix” Mtizwa, who was the first assistant coach, has since been elevated to head the team’s technical department.
Maruwa was previously involved in physical brawls with security details from Dynamos, Manica Diamonds and Triangle.
But it appears the Rhinos bosses eventually lost their patience on Sunday when Maruwa was engaged in another fistfight with the Triangle bench during warm up to their match at Gibbo, which left him with a swollen eye.
Accusations of encroaching into each other’s space to engage in juju were raised and the incident threatened the start of the match, which Rhinos went on to lose 1-0.
In a statement yesterday, Rhinos secretary-general, Colonel Edward Mutukwa announced the end of their four-year marriage with Maruwa with immediate effect for tainting the image of the army.
He is also accused of insubordination.
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“Black Rhinos Football Club takes this opportunity to inform you on the latest developments within our esteemed institution. The executive committee, guided by the Black Rhinos Football Club’s constitution, Article 10(c), unanimously agreed to terminate the services of Mr Herbert Maruwa as the head coach,” Mutukwa wrote.
“The decision was informed by the following reasons: unbecoming behaviour during match which has tainted the corporate image of the club and the organisation at large. Cases in point include the club’s matches against Dynamos FC, Manica Diamonds FC, Ngezi Platinum Stars and recently Triangle FC. This was also in contravention of the Premier Soccer League’s regulations.
“Failure to respect and accept advice and support from other technical department members thereby negatively affecting unity within the club.
“Disregard of authority by failing to attend meetings called for, showing disobedience to the executive committee, for reasons best known to him.
“The club appreciates the good work that he has done in order to produce the much needed results during the five year tenure he has served the institution. Nevertheless the above stated decision was arrived at with the view to salvage the club’s lost brand image in the football arena. We reiterate that the Chauya Chipembere corporate image needs to be safeguarded in order to attract as much corporate partners as possible. The club wishes him a successful career in his future endeavours.”
Mutizwa does not possess the requisite Caf licence needed to coach in the league, but Mutukwa yesterday said the former Warriors legend has been given a special waiver by the league to sit on the bench.
Stix is returning to the hot seat where he was fired in 2018, having guided the team to Premier League promotion the previous year.
His first assignment will be a tricky army derby against Cranborne Bullets at Vengere Stadium in Rusape on Saturday.
Premier Soccer League fixtures
Saturday: ZPC Kariba v Chicken Inn (Nyamhunga), Harare City v FC Platinum (National Sports Stadium), Black Rhinos v Cranborne Bullets (Vengere), Bulawayo City v Herentals (Barbourfields), Whawha v Caps United (Ascot)
Sunday: Ngezi Platinum Stars v Triangle (Baobab), Manica Diamonds v Yadah (Vengere), Highlanders v Tenax (Barbourfields), Dynamos v Bulawayo Chiefs (National Sports Stadium)
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