Zimbabwe: Zim Economy Bites Madinda

OUTGOING Highlanders technical manager Madinda Ndlovu says the country's unstable economic situation was the reason he could not see out his contract at the Bulawayo football giants.

Ndlovu tendered his resignation at Highlanders on Friday morning and is on his way back to Botswana to join top league side Gaborone United, where he has reportedly been given an irresistible offer.

Reports linking Ndlovu to the Botswana side surfaced about three weeks ago, but the veteran gaffer at the time refused to comment on the issue insisting that he was still the Highlanders technical manager.

Ndlovu held his last press conference at the club offices yesterday after completing half of his three-year contract with the Bulawayo club.

"It would have been nice for me to retire at Highlanders where I started my football, but we all understand that we have social and family responsibilities and projects to take care of and with all due respect, I think our economy is not stable. The economy does not allow me right now," Ndlovu told journalists.

"This is the main reason why I have to look for a better offer somewhere else. Not that I have a problem with Highlanders, but it is the situation that the club finds itself in and that we find ourselves in as a nation. I am looking at retiring at the same period that I had stated."

The outspoken gaffer had said he would retire from football coaching to concentrate on business projects when his three-year contract with Highlanders, which started last year in January, comes to an end.

The Highlanders legend returns to Botswana where he has three league titles, two with Mochudi Centre Chiefs and one with Township Rollers.

He has also coached Orapa United in that country, his last club before making a return to his boyhood club Highlanders.

Ndlovu is credited for building the squad that went on to win the title under Rahman Gumbo at the turn of the millennium and the last championship under Methembe Ndlovu in 2006.

He was briefly at Highlanders again in 2009 and was replaced by Egyptian Mohamed Fathi.

Ndlovu leaves Highlanders after beating their oldest rivals Dynamos before the Premier Soccer League went for a break for the Africa Cup of Nations, which is underway in Egypt.

Under Ndlovu, Highlanders also beat Dynamos home and away last season and beat them in April in the Independence Trophy, but had a bad start to the league season this year, with only three wins from 12 games.

Assistants Mandla Mpofu and Bekithemba Ndlovu are likely to take charge before Highlanders finds a substantive replacement for Madinda.

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