The Sunday Mail
DYNAMOS have fired five coaches since their last Premiership title in 2014, and Herbert “Jompano” Maruwa could become the sixth victim if he fails to collect three points against ZPC Kariba at the National Sports Stadium this afternoon.
Maruwa is DeMbare’s sixth coach in seven seasons.
There are even strong indications that his assistant, Genesis Mangombe, could be elevated to become the seventh as early as tomorrow, if the Glamour Boys fail to win today.
Journeyman Mark Harrison is also being linked with the hot seat, while club and Zimbabwe legend Sunday “Mhofu” Chidzambwa has been tipped for the technical consultant’s role.
Virtually unknown Serbian gaffer Dragojilo Stanovic is understood to have submitted his CV, amid revelations that a number of coaches are positioning themselves for the job.
Maruwa is sitting on a two-match ultimatum.
His fate will be decided by ZPC Kariba and his former side Black Rhinos.
Maruwa has managed four points out of a possible 15 in DeMbare’s last five matches.
But the criteria used by the DeMbare management to gauge his success remains contentious, given that the Dynamos executive meets the technical team after every five matches to review progress.
Maruwa picked eight points from his opening five matches and seven in the next five games. But alarm bells seem to have started ringing louder when he began his third five-match trance with a 2-1 defeat by Ngezi Platinum Stars last weekend.
Those fighting in the coach’s corner argue that the chairperson, Moses Maunganidze, and his executive committee should have set targets against which his performance could be assessed.
Maruwa has, however, remained unmoved, insisting the ultimatum will not affect him “in any way”.
“Yes, we heard about the ultimatum but we are not affected. We just need to concentrate on the match against ZPC Kariba,” he said.
“We remain focussed because we need to collect maximum points one game at a time.”
The former Dynamos developmental coach is now on the verge of joining the late David “Yogi” Mandigora, Paulo Jorge Silva, Lloyd Mutasa, Lloyd Chigowe and Tonderai Ndiraya on the growing list of casualties.
DeMbare have changed coaches at a rate of almost one per season since 2015, but the Harare giants have failed to win either the league title or any major silverware since 2014, when the trailblazing Kalisto Pasuwa completed his fourth successive championship.
The best they have achieved in the post-Pasuwa era is coming in second in 2015 and 2017.
“It’s very unfortunate that Dynamos is different from any other club. We are a different animal altogether, with a lot of stakeholders and fans who expect good results, even when we are building,” said vice chairperson Vincent Chawonza, who also heads the human capital committee at Dynamos.
While some feel Maruwa should be given more time to build his team in view of the young talent he assembled early this year, results and performances from recent matches have left the executive fearing for the worst.
Interestingly, some fans began doubting Maruwa’s capabilities the moment he was named Ndiraya’s successor on December 13, 2022.
The fact that he is not a former Dynamos player has always worked against him given the club’s culture of appointing former players as coaches.
However, Chawonza maintains that they had to act after last weekend’s 1-2 defeat to Ngezi, notwithstanding the fact that they are five points behind log leaders Ngezi after Match Day 11.
“We have a long-term vision for the club but we can’t afford to fight relegation. These guys have got to post results that are respectable . . . The direction we are heading is dangerous,” added Chawonza.
The club’s executive is also worried that the side’s performance could affect attendance, especially at a time fans had begun to trust the team again.
Each of DeMbare’s last two home matches against Manica Diamonds and Triangle United were watched by about 3 000 fans, down from about 6 000 a few weeks ago.
The pressure to win silverware is also made worse by the fact that Dynamos will celebrate their 60th anniversary at the end of the year.
The executive also believes Maruwa has enough talent at his disposal to win the league title.
Tanaka “Kante” Shandirwa, Donald Mudadi, Arthur “Diego” Musiyiwa, Tendai Matindife, Keith Madera and Junior Makunike are some of the exciting players.
But the strike force, which has fired blanks in six out of 11 matches, is considered a big letdown.
Dynamos, however, have four of the top five scorers from last season — Eli Ilunga, Emmanuel Paga, Nyasha Chintuli and Jayden Bakare.
Ilunga, Chintuli and Bakare are yet to score this season. Overall, although there are some people who are pleading for Maruwa, his fortunes seemed to take a turn for the worst when Ngezi upstaged DeMbare at Baobab Stadium.