HARARE – Taurai Mangwiro says manoeuvres against him within the club triggered his decision to resign before he was fired.
Mangwiro, who quit the Green Machine following Sunday’s 3-1 defeat away to Shabanie Mine, has maintained that he left United to escape the poisoned working environment at the club, worsened by elements in the management who “were working behind the scenes to ensure my downfall.”
The ex-CAPS gaffer had been working without a contract for the past three months following the expiry of his short-term deal, ample proof that he was being hounded out of the club, Mangwiro said on Monday.
Mangwiro has been credited with assembling a competitive side strong enough to challenge for honours this season, but the highly-rated coach felt insecure without the full backing of some members of the club’s executive.
After revealing to this paper in an exclusive interview last week that players and technical staff had gone for three months without receiving their salaries, Mangwiro finally threw in the towel seven games before the completion of the Castle Premiership season.
“I think it was time to say goodbye. The environment was no longer conducive for me to carry on,” Mangwiro told the Daily News.
“It is good to work in a relaxed environment but the one at CAPS could not allow me that. It is known that when you play there are three results – win, draw and a defeat – and that loss to Shabanie Mine is part and parcel of the game.
“It is difficult when you don’t get the required support when you are putting in a lot of energy. There was a lot of politics at play. I don’t have problem with (CAPS president) Twine Phiri, but within the system there was a plot to get rid of me.
“Thus I decided to step down than to affect the whole team. There were some individuals who felt I am not the right candidate for the job since my roots are at Dynamos.
“I wanted support from the leadership. The problem is these are guys are only looking at winning the league and Mbada Diamonds Cup this year. But I was looking beyond that.
“There was no longer trust in me. There are some people who felt former CAPS United players should lead the team. In fact, denying me a contract was a deliberate ploy to oust me.”
Mangwiro, a former Dynamos player, laid into certain individuals in the Makepekepe leadership who believed that his DeMbare links could compromise his job as CAPS United coach.
“I am a professional and when the team loses its genuine. I was natured at Dynamos ye, but what benefit do I get from them when my bread is buttered at CAPS United. It was the same thing when I brought in (assistant coach) Saul (Chaminuka), some people were not happy,” he said.
Mangwiro also revealed that the club executive almost sacked players for boycotting training over outstanding dues last month.
“When players boycott training people pointed fingers at me. They wanted to suspend players and we told them it’s not a good idea given we are in the title race,” he said.
“And they felt I am teaming up with the players to sabotage the team when in actual fact they were supposed to address why players are not happy. I only feel for those players because we had a good relationship. I was actually very close to them than anyone at the club. We are fortunate to be on that position on the log table given the current state of affairs.
“It’s unfortunate it has to end like this after all they have done for me, especially during the Asiagate bans (when CAPS paid his admission of guilty fine).”
Mangwiro’s untimely resignation has certainly thrown the Green Machine’s season into disarray.
Mangwiro led United to a 10-match unbeaten streak, leaving Makepekepe, who last won the league title in 2005, in a strong position to reclaim their glory days.
CAPS are currently fifth on the log table with 36 points from 23 rounds of action. They are six points behind leaders Dynamos with seven matches remaining.
Mangwiro, meanwhile, immediately distanced himself from joining Dynamos as Calisto Pasuwa’s assistant.
“I am taking a rest for now,” he said. “No one from Dynamos have contacted me. They are doing well and I don’t think they will want to hire anyone for now. Those are some of the rumours which made my stay at CAPS United difficult.”
CAPS chief executive Joe Makuvire declined to comment on the development, saying the club has not received an official resignation from Mangwiro.