FORMER Zimbabwe defence stalwart Norman Mapeza has been appointed national coach on a contract running up to the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations finals.
His appointment ends a long spell of instability following the departure of Sunday Chidzambwa last May.
Mapeza, once on the books of Turkish giants Galatasaray, was caretaker coach as the Warriors got their Nations Cup campaign off to a positive start with a 1-1 draw away to Liberia last September.
After the appointment of Belgian Tom Saintfiet fell through, Mapeza was co-coach with another Zimbabwean legend Madinda Ndlovu for Zimbabwe’s 0-0 home draw against Cape Verde the following month.
Ndlovu then took charge of the Warriors at the African Nations Championship finals in Sudan, where the team went out at the group stage.
Mapeza faces a difficult task in his first assignment, as Zimbabwe play away to Mali at the end of the month.
“It’s my wish to get the campaign back on track, I believe that we can still qualify,” Mapeza told BBC Sport.
Mapeza is a former Warriors captain and was the first Zimbabwean to play in the Uefa Champions League, with Galatasaray.