Shadreck Mlauzi, a distinguished figure in Zimbabwean football, was born on January 6, 1980, making him 43 years old as of 2023. His academic pursuits led him to Zimbabwe Open University, where he delved into sports science, specializing in athletic performance and physical education. Among his qualifications are a CAF B Licence, a degree in Physical Education, and various sports science certifications.
Ascending to prominence as the coach of Zimbabwe’s women’s national football team, the Mighty Warriors, Mlauzi steered the team to their historic debut at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. This accomplishment solidified his status as the first coach to guide a Zimbabwean team to a global football tournament.
Post-Olympics, Mlauzi continued to contribute actively to Zimbabwean football, serving as an assistant coach for various national teams, including Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe U-20, Zimbabwe U-23, and the Zimbabwe Women’s team. Despite facing challenges in his career, his commitment to nurturing talent and guiding teams remained unwavering.
Triumphs and Turmoil
While the field witnessed Mlauzi’s successes, discord brewed within the football administration, he raised concerns about inadequate recognition and remuneration for the Mighty Warriors’ achievements at the 2016 Olympics, leading to legal battles with the Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA) for outstanding bonuses.
2023 Controversy: Arrest and Allegations
In October 2023, Mlauzi faced a stark reversal of fortunes when he became entangled in a legal dispute. Disturbing allegations of indecent assault surfaced, levied against him by a female staff member during the COSAFA Women’s Championship in South Africa.
Alleged Incidents and Legal Proceedings
The accusations detailed troubling incidents, including unwelcome advances and inappropriate physical contact. Legal proceedings ensued upon the staff member’s formal complaint, resulting in Mlauzi’s arrest and subsequent court appearance. He was granted bail of US$300 after appearing before Harare magistrate Yeukai Dzuda.
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Impact on Football and Investigations
Beyond tarnishing Mlauzi’s career, the allegations raised concerns about the safety of female staff and athletes in the sport. Both COSAFA and ZIFA committed to independent investigations to ascertain the claims’ veracity. Dissatisfaction lingered among the public and staff regarding ZIFA’s handling of the situation during Mlauzi’s stay in South Africa amid the ongoing investigation.