Chitembwe, Maruwa in war of words over juju claims

SPRINKLED urine at the entry point of Rufaro Stadium on Sunday ignited a harsh exchange of words between Zimbabwe Premiership football coaches amid renewed questions of whether the use of juju or witchcraft helps teams win football matches.

Harare City coach Lloyd Chitembwe used an undesignated entry point in an effort to avoid being “bewitched” by Black Rhinos coach Hebert Maruwa.

City went on to lose 1-0 with Wisdom Mutasa scoring late in the second half to help Rhinos complete a double over Harare City and inflict Chitembwe’s first defeat as City coach.

Chitembwe was not amused. He accused the Black Rhinos bench of being unprofessional for believing the bizarre world of rituals spells and charms to enhance their team’s fortunes.

Maruwa did not take it lying down either going on to counter-accuse the former CAPS United coach of also believing in juju, slamming Chitembwe’s action of jumping the fence. 

The drama continued to play out as Chitembwe exited the press room.

“Coach munomhoresawo vamwe game risati ratanga heee vakomana chiiko…aiwaaa vakomana (coach do you not know it’s courteous to greet the opposition before kick-off, why didn’t you do so?” said Chitembwe as he exited the press room.

An unfazed Maruwa hit back.

“Nemiwo coach munomhoresawo vamwe inga tongokumhoresaiwo wani (You too coach, you should be courteous), you were the away team. What is so special about you? munotitangawo ka..nhai chii choshamisira ipapa (you should have extended your hand first),” retorted Maruwa.

In his post-match comments, Chitembwe  accused his opposing of employing “dirty tactics” to win matches.

“It’s so disappointing when it’s involving coaches who employ dirty tactics on fellow coaches,” he said.

“As coaches we should be concentrating more on the physiological, tactical and conditioning part of the game not to believe in these dirty waters. That is why our football as a nation is not going anywhere. This belief in juju does not help football grow,” added Chitembwe.

However, Maruwa was not having any of it, insisting Chitembwe had failed to be gracious in defeat.

“He is just bitter. When you lose, you do not come up with excuses. He jumped the fence, why did not he use the designated entry point.  He lost and is trying to come up with excuses. I lost four straight matches but I did not blame anyone. My job is to coach Black Rhinos not to coach other coaches,” said Maruwa.