Home » Sports » Mash to Blame for Saintfiet Mess [column]

IT was refreshing to hear that, for the first time in five years, ZIFA chief executive Jonathan Mashingaidze was asked to leave a room while our football leaders discussed the state of our national game.

I have always maintained that the issues haunting ZIFA are not as a result of the imagined “enemies of football” but are a result of a man-made football tsunami known as Hurricane Mash.

Mashingaidze has single-handedly orchestrated the downfall of Zimbabwean football.

He drew up Tom Saintfiet’s contract and because he was so over-zealous he gave the Belgian gaffer something that was out of this world, including payment for an apartment in Germany.

Saintfiet’s contract, which I am in possession of, entitled him to the following:

a) Net salary of $8000 per month (this excluded ALL proceeds received from participating in competitive matches outside Zimbabwe and the salary would be reviewed and adjusted upwards with 6% to cover inflation).

b) Transport — KB ISUZU Truck with fuel allowance

c) Bonus — $2000-00 if the team wins a game

d) Bonus — $1000-00 if the team draws a game

e) Further, the coach shall be paid back all reasonable travelling expenses incurred by him in the execution of his duties and obligation under this agreement.

f) The above stated figures shall be reviewed from time to time

g) The employer (ZIFA) SHALL FURNISH THE EMPLOYEE WITH THREE RETURN TICKETS TO EUROPE PER YEAR.

INSURANCE HEALTH CARE AND RENTALS – The employer shall pay the employee the sum of $12 000-00 after tax per year for the same

h) Rentals for the Coaches apartment in Germany at the start of the contract year.

i) Social security and pension fund

j) Health insurance policy held with the Belgian Government health insurer at the start of the Contract

Finally, of course, the contract stated that the employer shall on or before the 1st of October 2010, forward a copy of it to CAF and FIFA for their information and Notice, which is what brings us, five years later, to FIFA playing its superintending role so that they can hold ZIFA to account for the letter and spirit of the document.

The big question is — Was this contract pro-ZIFA or was it all in favour of the Belgian?

Just his bonus for a draw was enough to buy his relatives the expensive Belgian chocolates for Christmas every year.

Mashingaidze admitted in records, in my possession, that he drew up Saintfiet’s contract and that he was doing all he can to make sure the coach received his temporary employment and resident permits with the department of immigration.

The rest they say is history.

Mashingaidze’s disregard for communication is well documented, infact, it’s legendary.

You can be assured he will not take your calls nor respond to your messages on whatever platform.

Ask Nicki Dhlamini-Moyo, and ask any of the journalists that are not in his corner?

This is the Mashingaidze that Saintfeit’s lawyers dealt with soon after their client had been “extracted” from Zimbabwe.

In a letter addressed to the ZIFA President, Cuthbert Dube, Wouter Lambrecht from Ruiz, Huerta y Crespo of Valencia Spain wrote:

“We have kindly requested that ZIFA informs us accordingly of the outcome of the said meetings in two faxes from 28 October 2010. Notwithstanding the said explicit request, ZIFA, for an unexplainable and inexcusable reason, CONTINUES ITS LACK OF COMMUNICATION AND HAS FAILED TO INFORM US.

“Given the events that have occurred since our client was extracted from the country, Mr Saintfeit and us his legal representatives should be kept up to date on any situation regarding his employment with ZIFA.

“This is the least to be expected from the ZIFA if they wish to act in good faith towards Mr Saintfiet.

“We informed ZIFA in our fax of 20 October 2010 THAT THIS LACK OF COMMUNICATION AND CORRESPONDENCE WOULD AMOUNT TO A BREACH OF CONTARCT, THEREFORE, WE ARE SHOCKED TO SEE THAT ZIFA CONTINUES TO CONDUCT ITSELF IN BREACH OF THEIR OBLIGATIONS AND, THUS, IN BREACH OF THE EMPLOYMENT CONTRACT”

I will not go any further in this five-page letter from Saintfiet’s lawyers but what is clear is that Mashingaidze ignored and refused to communicate with them. Well, five years later, our nation is about to pay a huge prize for that and this is a mess that could have been dealt with had our CEO simply done his job five years ago.

I wish Mashingaidze could, for once, admit that he is bleeds, just like all of us, and to err, is human.

I wish he could be the man enough, and honest enough, to apologise to Zimbabwe and say “ndakatadza basa!”

After he has done that, I wait to see him keep his hands off that door knob to ZIFA that he slowly closed last week when he was asked to leave the room as the clock keeps running out on him.

Maimba T Mapuranga is The Managing Consultant of Kutting Edge Sports and he writes here in his personal capacity.

Source : The Herald

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