Zambia

Moses Sichone: His Appointment As Assistant Coach Lacks Transparency- Augustine Mukoka

Augustine Mukoka

Moses Sichone: His Appointment As Assistant Coach Lacks Transparency

On or around May 29, 2022, FAZ sneaked former Chipolopolo captain Moses Sichone into Ghana after which they announced he was the new assistant coach to Chipolopolo mentor Aljosa Asanovic.

The announcement did not state the terms on which Sichone was hired nor did it indicate the process that arrived at the decision. This is against the background that in November 2017, Sichone was appointed FAZ technical director, a position he abandoned 10 months or so later.

His departure, I am made to understand, has everything to do with the alleged lack of professionalism in which he was made to operate – that’s one version.

A few years down the line, Sichone pops up from his Germany base to become assistant coach for Chipolopolo. We really are good jokers!

As Sichone is re-engaged, Issues of his conditions of service are kept secret and no one at FAZ has the “foot-balls” to publicly state who made the decision to bring Sichone back. There’s no record the FAZ Executive Committee, according to their constitution, made this decision.

Well, one may argue that Sichone’s emoluments are confidential. Yes, I agree. Issues to do with remunerations are by and large strictly confidential but not when it comes to public institutions such as FAZ were we are all stakeholders.

If the salary of the Republican president is public, why should the salary of a public officer as a coach be kept private. We all know the salary range Asanovic is getting. Why shouldn’t we know the terms for the assistant coach? In any case, for an association that has declared losses and reported debt in excess of K40 millions and also draws its funding from state coffers, prudent financial management should be top priority. Its excess expenditure is subject to public scrutiny.

It’s very important that a cash-strapped FAZ tells Zambians the source covering Sichone’s remunerations. Or maybe he is offering his services for charity?

Any which way, the public and FAZ councilors deserve to know because it will help us understand future implications of such decisions. If, for instance, Sichone has grievances his serves were not compensated and takes the matter to FIFA, Zambians ought to know that at one point their cash-strapped FAZ ExCo hired an assistant they later failed to pay but must still pay.

Aside from the remuneration, what are the justifications of FAZ engaging Sichone as assistant coach?

Although others claim his departure was because of lack of professionalism at FAZ, others state that he was not competent enough to carry out the duties of a Technical Director at Football House. It’s understood that the weight of the position was beyond his capacity. I will not go into details.

But if he left and we so much needed an assistant on the technical bench, why have we not considered tapping into the available pool of other former footballers learning the ropes as coaches either in the local league or at academies?.

Sichone’s knowledge on Zambian football is extremely remote compared to his peers who are trying out in the local league. Even if we wanted to ignore the locals for one reason or the other, did FAZ attempt to check on the others in the diaspora? Why didn’t we reach out to Andrew Sinkala or Peter Chitila?

Jacob Mulenga, too, has recently retired from active football and may have something to offer. Did we consider him? How about Noah Chivuta or Collins Mbesuma? What rationale was used to rehire Sichone?

As far as I know, Sichone is not an exceptional coach; he doesn’t have any pedigree yet to warrant a position on the Chipolopolo technical bench without being subjected to a competitive process.

Locally, we have the likes of Misheck Lungu, Tenant Chilumba, Noel Mwandila, Christopher Katongo, Chintu Kampamba, Billy Mwanza, Kelvin Kaindu, Songwe Chalwe, Francis Kasonde, Isaac Chansa, Mumamba Numba, Perry Mutapa, all relatively young coaches trying out at different levels.

These former Chipolopolo stars have a better understanding of the local game and will develop good relationships with national team players, especially the local lads who they interact with on almost a daily basis.

Why did we ignore them for ba Sichone who we first offered the position of Technical Director but did not live up to expectations? Or did we try them and they performed more dismally than Sichone?

Giving answers to these and many questions demonstrates transparency. You can’t claim to be an advocate or champion of transparency when your actions are shrouded in mist.

I thank you.

Photo Credit: FAZ Media

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