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Stars, Mbakera on collision course

2024-03-04  Correspondent

Stars, Mbakera on collision course

Maqonda Ndlovu


Former African Stars coach Mervin Mbakera has written a letter of demand through his lawyer Olsen Kahiriri to the club, claiming breach of contract.

Mbakera who was until his resignation last week, Stars head coach on a three-year contract, says he was committed to honouring the agreement.

However, he says he was forced to resign after Starlile, as African Stars are famously known by the legion of fans, decided to hire Ronnie Kanalelo as head coach and ‘demote’ him to assistant coach.

“It seems your club has tactically manoeuvred and embarked on an unscrupulous journey to frustrate, humiliate, and threaten our client by employing other characters to act in the similar position he is employed in, while he is reduced to a spectator level,” Mbakera’s lawyer says in his letter, which he copied to the NFA and NPFL administrators.

He further states that such overt actions are not only violating his client’s contract of employment but, more so, flagrantly violating FIFA rules that protect contractual stability while paying due respect to mandatory national law.

“Your contract purposely excluded the club’s obligations towards our client and was crafted in such a manner as to disregard Namibian laws, NFA rules, CAF rules, and that of FIFA,” he further states.

Mbakera goes on to reject his ‘demotion’, saying he has fulfilled his performance requirement in subclause 10.1 of the contract, which states that ‘the performance of the coach shall be evaluated monthly and measured against the following minimum targets: that the team maintains a top-two position at the end of the first round of matches and a second position at the end of the season.’

Mbakera also claims Stars owes him N$36 000, which they failed to pay during his tenure with the (women’s national team) and demanded that payment be made within 48 hours from the receipt of this letter.

He concluded by demanding that the club reverses its decision to employ someone in his position within 72 hours, failure of which would mean the club has repudiated the contract.

When contacted for comment, Stars executive director Salomo Hei acknowledged receiving the letter but said there is nothing he can do now as Mbakera has moved on to Tigers.

“We did not change his terms of conditions. He was going to be getting the same salary. We just re-organised the technical team. After receiving the letter, we called Mbakera and his representatives for a meeting, and they did not show up,” Hei said.

He added that Mbakera was away for two months, and he did not do any work for the club.

“The 72 hours have passed and Mbakera has moved on, should I tell Ronnie to stop coaching Stars and remain without a coach? Remember, Stars paid for his Caf B licence, must we claim from him the investment we made?” Hei asked.

2024-03-04  Correspondent

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