A LOCAL junior football team coach and manager is languishing in remand prison on allegations of sexually abusing young players that he coached and two other minors that he stayed with.
Mpumelelo Ndlovu, a 40-year-old man residing in Lobengula West, doubled up as a coach and manager for a youth football team based in Cowdray Park.
He was nabbed last month after allegations of child sexual abuse were reported at a local police station by concerned community members in Lobengula West who suspected Ndlovu of molesting two players.
More allegations of child sexual abuse surfaced in Cowdary Park where he was coaching young players aged between nine and 16 years old.
On Monday he appeared at the West Commonage Court charged with aggravated indecent assault and was remanded in custody to 28 November.
The club chairman said they immediately cut ties with him soon after he was arrested.
“He is facing very serious allegations and what makes it worse is that the man was working with young boys, we trusted him to coach and manage youngsters so as soon as he was arrested we cut all ties with him.
“I went to see him at the Bulawayo Prison yesterday (Tuesday) where he is remanded in custody, I looked him in the eyes and asked why he did it but he could not give me an answer. We will let the law take it’s course,’’ said the chairman.
It is not the first time that Ndlovu has been accused of child sexual abuse.
In 2013 accusations of indecent assault were raised against him when he was coaching another junior football team called LLG Stars from Cowdray Park.
“Zifa Bulawayo Junior League is an organisation made up of 42 teams dotted around the city of Bulawayo consisting of players between the ages of 12 and 17. Of late very unpleasant reports of child sexual abuse have been reported from a team named LLG Stars from Cowdray Park.
“We are very concerned about these reports as an association, whether true or not. We therefore request your organisation to professionally investigate the issue,” wrote the then Zifa Bulawayo Junior League chairman Mkhululi Mthunzi on 2 October 2012.
Three years later Zifa Bulawayo Junior League suspended Ndlovu from all football related matters until investigations into the allegations were complete.
On 22 April 2015 Zifa wrote: “This letter serves to inform you that serious allegations of child abuse have been levelled against you. You are suspended from all football matters until the allegations have been investigated and you are cleared by the association.
“You are reminded that should you associate with any team and this office has concrete evidence that you really associate with it then this office will not hesitate to take stern measure against that team”.
But reports suggest that Ndlovu disappeared for a while and resurfaced in the Inyathi area where he was working with kids at a local primary school.
He allegedly fled the area after similar child sexual abuse allegations were levelled against him.
In 2016 he was back again in football but this time with Cowdray Park Shining Stars.
Current Zifa Bulawayo Junior League acting chairman Francis Ntuta said Ndlovu manipulated their system by not registering as a coach using his real name.
“Our records do not show that he resurfaced again in 2016 as the Cowdray Park Shining Stars coach. He must have used a different name. We hope justice will prevail so that the boy child and football in general is protected,” said Ntuta.