When Norman Mapeza joined FC Platinum in 2014, club president George Mawere tasked the former Warriors with transforming the big spenders into champions.
Mapeza was appointed at a time, Kalisto Pasuwa was on top of Zimbabwean football, DeMbare completing a four-year trailblazing campaign where they won an unprecedented four league titles on the bounce.
In his third season at the helm, the former Warriors skipper won the coveted league title for the first time in the miners’ history, and in his fourth year at the helm he defended it.
Despite the well documented successes, Mapeza remained a polarising figure in the mining town of Zvishavane.
The primary role behind the formation of FC Platinum was to tap into Mimosa mining company’s social corporate responsibility, giving aspiring footballers in the community a chance to shine as well as bring top level football to the community.
But, Mapeza only promoted players from the club’s juniors in his last year at the club, for four years not even a single player graduated from the club’s well-resourced U19 team which competes in the second tier.
Mapeza had run-ins with his executive, at one time he verbally abused club chairman Evans Mtombeni threatening to physically harm his boss.
On that occasion, Daniel Vheremu a member of the technical department, provided a physical shield to protect Mtombeni.
Mapeza fumed and seethed pleading with Vheremu to loosen the shield but former Warriors defender remained firm, and the gaffer let go verbal bile much to the bemusement of the entire leadership present.
The gaffer had run-ins with his players as well and at one time he physical assaulted his vice-captain Gift Bello in full glare of the public and the media alike, the defender was only rescued from further harm by the team’s marshals.
Despite his successes many in Zvishavane feel Mapeza had to go as his attitude alienated the team from the fans.
Although the official line remains that the coach wanted to take a break sources say the club was fed up with Mapeza’s diva like tantrums.