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Long-suffering CAPS fans deserve some respect from the club’s owner



CAPS United owner Farai Jere made startling remarks last week, something to the effect that coach Lloyd Chitembwe can stay in his job for as long as he want, because the gaffer has been a loyal servant of the club through tough times.


Rightly so, Chitembwe has been nothing but faithful to this great club, as a player and now as coach.

And, indeed, there are a lot of nice things to like and admire about Lloyd Chitembwe.

He was a top player, no doubt, a tough-as-teak ball-winning holding midfielder who embraced this good old-fashioned position in its purity and will forever be remembered in this country as part of the first group of players to take Zimbabwe to its historic first Africa Cup of Nations tournament in 2004.

As a coach, Chitembwe has proven no slouch either. Guiding CAPS to its first league title in 11 years back in 2016 tasted so sweet to the Makepekepe faithful, that piece of success coming as it did hard-on-the-heels of a famous four-year championship reign by bitter rivals Dynamos.

He’s a great fellow, too, as a man, a humble guy who’s happy to be stopped in the street by a random fan to talk about events at their beloved club.

Given all this background, Farai Jere’s proclamation last week about his coach would appear quite sensible under the circumstances. Because guys like Lloyd deserve all the recognition, all the love and all the happiness in the world.

That Chitembwe has managed to get by at the club under very difficult conditions is the kind of loyalty ought to be rewarded.

To who is this loyalty owed though, is it to the club and its fans or simply just to the owner?

Certainly the one who feels indebted here is the boss. Because, clearly, he is unable to provide the right stuff to a coach who has worked under undesirable conditions for a long time and still keep a level head.

Players at CAPS go unpaid, and the club is generally in a bad state compared to its big-team peers in the country.

Zimbabwe is no stranger to hard times, without a question, and what happens at CAPS United every day is not unique to this football club.

But why is it that a club owned by a supposedly wealthy man is always crying poverty yet similar clubs, or even smaller teams, are able to punch above their weight under the same prevailing environment?

Lloyd Chitembwe may never tap into his true potential as a coach at CAPS United. Simply because only the owner there seems satisfied with the goings-on at the club because he cannot provide the right tools for his coach to go the extra mile and for the team to be where it belongs – at the top. It’s utterly disrespectfully to the club’s fans, and to the coach himself.

If I was a CAPS United supporter I would be absolutely livid about this kind of treatment.

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