To be or not to be? this is the Shepherd Murape question

Noel Munzabwa

IF anything can be said about Swazi football, it has to be sharp divisions that have hit the popular Manzini Wanderers house with former Warriors coach Shepherd Murape being the core.

Manzini Wanderers board of directors are reportedly divided over the future of the Zimbabwean head coach.

A source in the team asserted that some of the directors wanted assistant coach Anthony Mdluli to be in charge of the team as he had the relevant qualification.

“The board is divided over the technical team as some feel Mdluli should be given the hot seat as he is highly qualified and knows local football better. They also feel the current head coach was derailing progress in the team as he is still waiting for his work permit.”

Murape watched his team’s MTN Premier League encounter against Manzini Sundowns from the stands after failing to produce the relevant paperwork. The match ended in a goalless draw with the coach issuing instructions from the stands.

The Zimbabwean, who was announced as the new coach at the hub giants a few weeks ago was at the technical bench when his side played to a 1-all draw to Green Mamba in his first game in charge.

He is the third Wanderers coach this season after Kenny Ndlazi, who was replaced by former Defender Jerry ‘Mbazo’ Gamedze.

Just last week it all seemed an amicable decision to part ways had been reached with Murape “packing” to his South African base but two days later he was back training with the team.

It would seem the main thorn is that the coach does not hold a mandatory CAF B Coaching Licence but a Yugoslav Coaching Badge which has to be equated to the CAF Badges.

Worse still that coaching certificate is written in Serbian language which locals are failing to translate into English as a way of authentication.

Murape had thus offered to retrieve the English copy from the football association in Namibia which he submitted when he coached the national team.

“I have been in touch with the Namibia FA to get the certified translated copy which we obtained from the embassy. The officials have promised to send it through once they get it,” said Murape.

Until that copy is obtained and verified “Mr Fix it” as he is affectionately known will not be allowed to sit on the Wanderers technical dug out.

Paying a coach who has not been cleared to coach on match day is what has particularly divided the Wanderers board with the others fast growing impatient.

Unfortunately the impatience is equally getting into Murape’s nerves who is now prepared for whatever fate.

“I am ready for whatever (fate). If it means going back to South Africa where I face no such challenges so let be. For now I will continue training the team but not sit on technical area during matches,” added Murape.

The 1984 Super League winning coach with Black Rhinos underwent a six month training in Yugoslavia soon after independence together with a Basketball coach identified as Rogers seconded by the then Ministry of Youth and Sports.