Matete, ZAAA finally agree terms


RENOWNED former world 400 metres hurdles champion, Samuel Matete and the Zambia Amateur Athletics Associations (ZAAA) have agreed on a lucrative agreement.
Both Mpondela and Matete confirmed in separate interviews yesterday that after on-going discussions, the two parties agreed on an agreement as compared to the earlier contentious contract.
Matete, who did not disclose the amounts involved, said he was comfortable with the two-page agreement, but still maintains that he has not received a salary from ZAAA because there was no signed document in place.
“I have now received the latest one which is edited; otherwise when I look at it, it looks okay to me unlike the six-page contract some of whose clauses I did not agree with.
“We have been holding discussions with ZAAA and we have resolved on certain clauses in the contract that I was not comfortable with,” Matete said, however, maintaining that he had not yet received any salary because there was no agreement in place.
And Mpondela said earlier, Matete was given a bargain beyond what he was qualified for, saying he is the only coach in Zambia who is on a salary because of the respect he commands in the country as an icon.
“Matete has been given a deal which is beyond his qualifications because we believe as ZAAA, there is something we can do to contribute to Zambia’s icon,” Mpondela said.
The ZAAA boss said Matete is a level three coach who has a Diploma in hurdles and sprint and could not be compared with the likes of Coach Development Director Jonathan Chipalo and Sydney Mushipi, but because of his contribution to the sport, the association felt duty-bound to offer him the job.
Mpondela explained that after wide consultations with the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) and the Confederation of African Athletics (CAA), Matete was recommended to the job with Mpondela saying what the former world hurdles champion was offered was way beyond these international bodies’ expectations.
“We were asked by the Mauritius Athletics Federation could you accept this man because his services where no longer required there. We said we couldn’t let him down; Matete is a family member, he is a Zambian icon; he is our own man, that was how we agreed to offer him the job,” Mpondela said.
He said IAAF would be contributing US$1,000 (about K5,400) per month through ZAAA towards Matete’s salary; in addition to the lucrative package that the Olympic Youth Development Centre (OYDC) is offering him.
“Mr Matete should consider himself a very lucky man. No athletics coach ever receives a salary in Zambia; it’s only him. ZAAA cannot afford to pay a salary, that is why we are grateful to the management at OYDC for weighing in heavily regarding Matete’s salary,” Mpondela said.
Mpondela said ZAAA was working at introducing a high performance centre at the OYDC and expected Matete in collaboration with German athletics expert, Ralph Mouchoubani to set up structures to transform the OYDC into one of the best in the region.
However, Mpondela came out strong about Matete’s ambitions to become president of ZAAA saying Matete should decide what he role he wants to play in the sport.
“I have spoken to him and he has agreed. He has been telling people about his intentions to become president of ZAAA. We want to work with him, but he should decide what role he wants to play in the sport. We want to work with him, but the situation is not like the way it has been portrayed in the media,” Mpondela said.
But Matete denied the allegations saying he wanted to help formulate structures that will help Zambia produce medal winning athletes on the international stage.