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Mapeza in fix over Zifa contract

Suspended Warriors coach Norman Mapeza fears for his career as Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) is taking time to terminate his contract to allow him to seek employment elsewhere.

By Michael Madyira

His suspension for his alleged participation in the Asiagate match-fixing scandal ends in a fortnight and Zifa has made it clear he will not return to his job as Warriors coach, despite having a running contract that expires in 2014.

But Mapeza is eager to see the immediate termination of his contract to allow him to move on with his career.

The 41-year-old was suspended for six months in November last year, following the completion of the Ebrahim’s Committee Commission enquiry into the Asiagate scandal.

This was after he had been suspended nine months earlier pending investigations into the scandal.

Mapeza said the contract cannot be terminated because of the outstanding salaries and allowances owed to him by Zifa.

The former Galatasaray player’s three-year contract with Zifa runs until April 2014 and is entitled to a contract fee of US$30 000 per
year and a monthly net salary of US$5 000.

The longer his contract runs, the further the accumulation of the dues owed to him.

Mapeza’s running contract with Zifa has also obstructed the association’s intention to offer interim coach Klaus-Dieter Pagels a substantive contract.

“I am not free because they (Zifa) are still holding on to my contract and cannot release me. I am just waiting for them to officially terminate my contract,” said Mapeza.

“Maybe they have done that already without my knowledge, but I am just waiting to hear from them through my lawyers. I have my own copy of the contract and I have worked in Europe for many years and know how important a contract is.”

Mapeza said he has not yet been officially notified of his six-month suspension, following completion of the Asiagate scandal.

“I only read it in the newspapers that I am suspended. Legally, having been suspended since February last year before Asiagate bans were effected in November, the six-month ban should not have counted since I had already been on the sidelines for nine months,” he said.

Zifa chief executive officer Jonathan Mashingaidze referred all questions pertaining Mapeza to Zifa lawyer Ralph Maganga, whose phone went unanswered on numerous occasions.

Two months ago, Mapeza won an arbitral award where Zifa were ordered to pay him US$243 546 for unfair labour practice after his suspension was deemed as illegal.

Arbitrator Caleb Mucheche ruled that Zifa “treaded a legal minefield with reckless abandon” when they suspended Mapeza without properly investigating him.

Mucheche said the association “flagrantly, wantonly and brazenly violated Mapeza’s labour rights with impunity.”

Mapeza’s contract with Zifa entitles him to benefits that include tuition fees for his children, medical aid cover, air travel around the world to monitor players based there and a housing allowance.

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