Sikhumbuzo Moyo, Senior Sports Reporter
HIGHLANDERS’ developmental coach Melusi “Mabaleka” Sibanda is reportedly in talks with Hwange-based Zifa Southern Region Division One perennial campaigners ZPC Hwange.
If the talks are successful, Sibanda, viewed as a future Highlanders’ first team coach, will be assistant to head coach Njabulo Dube.
“It’s true that he is in talks with ZPC Hwange. In fact, it’s almost a foregone conclusion that he will be joining them as he has bade his colleagues in the junior structures (at Highlanders) farewell. Some of the Bosso 90 players are also aware that their boss is leaving and could join him in Hwange,” said a source close to the developments.
Contacted for comment, ZPC Hwange secretary-general Mehluli Thebe was non-committal, only saying they asked head coach Dube to identify three names for interviews to take up the assistant coach job that was left vacant following the recall by Hwange of their former skipper Obert “Cobra” Moyo.
“Nothing has been finalised with anyone, Sibanda included, but what I can confirm is that we asked our coach Njabulo to identify three candidates whom we will interview for the assistant coach’s job. I don’t know if one of those identified was the person you are referring to,” said Thebe.
During the course of this year, Sibanda was reportedly frustrated by the Bulawayo giants over a number of issues, including, but not limited to, poor remuneration and sometimes abuse by some members of the secretariat.
Late last year, Mabaleka was struck off the Bulawayo giants’ payroll from their main sponsors NetOne, with the club saying he, together with other junior coaches, Siza Khoza, Dan Ngwenya and manager Smart Moyo would be paid from the club coffers.
The Highlanders’ junior coaches have been working under difficult conditions, as sometimes the juniors would forego training and only meet for matches.
Despite the untenable situation, the youngsters have still managed to produce great results.