DID Saul Chaminuka demand a R45 000 monthly salary from MTN Premier League of Eswatini outfit Mbabane Highlanders in aborted negotiations?
This was the big question after an Eswatini daily tabloid reported the former Warriors assistant coach with an 18-month tenure at Matsapha United demanded the fee.
This came at a time when Gwaza Nkunzi, as Mbabane Highlanders are known, sought to replace South African Mlungisi “Professor” Ngubane who quit the club in a huff last month after one match this season — a 1-3 defeat to Mbabane Swallows.
Chaminuka is reported to have also demanded E100 000 signing-on fee from his suitors.
A source close to the matter said Chaminuka’s demands forced Highlanders directors to remove him from the list of candidates to take over the hot seat at the 2009 and 2010 SwaziBank Cup champions.
“Chaminuka has been removed from the shortlisted names of coaches after placing hefty demands which have made Highlanders not to consider him for the position. The directors are still working on the process where the profiles of Meck Mwase (Malawi), Charles Bwale (Zambia) and Jairos Tapera (Zimbabwe) are still being scrutinised,” the source said.
Speaking from Chivhu, Chaminuka acknowledged the R45 000 figure as the “Vula mlomo” which eventually went down to R20 000 and a relocation fee of R50 000 which had been brought down from R75 000.
“It is true, I had pegged a salary in that region (R45 000) and a relocation fee of R75 000 but that was opening negotiations and eventually I revised my figures to a R20 000 salary and R50 000 relocation figure which Highlanders said was unaffordable and that was the end of our negotiations,” said Chaminuka.
Highlanders insisted on a R15 000 monthly salary, R15 000 relocation fee and 10% prize money bonus which was not attractive enough to lure the much travelled gaffer.
Chaminuka becomes the second Zimbabwe-born coach to turn down an offer from Eswatini after former Warriors and Dynamos coach Calisto Pasuwa who demanded a $10 000 (R150 000) monthly for the recently advertised vacant Sihlangu job against a R100 000 monthly perk.
It remains to be seen who will take over the two vacant jobs but Sihlangu will head into next week’s back-to-back 2019 Total Afcon Group J qualifiers against the Mohammed Salah-inspired Egypt under the tutelage of interim coach, Anthony Mdluli.