7 December 2012

Zimbabwe: Peace Returns At Dembare

LEAGUE and Cup champions Dynamos are expected to put aside their internal squabbles over prize money and join hands with Mbada Diamonds for a worthy cause in Mutare this morning. After successfully retaining the Premiership and Mbada Diamonds titles, Dynamos have been rocked by a serious row on how rich pickings from the two competitions should be distributed.

The dispute has seen players boycott training demanding a 50 percent share of each of the packages the club received for winning the league championship and the Mbada Diamonds Cup.

Dynamos pocketed US$75 000 for the Castle Lager Premiership title and US$100 000 for the Mbada Cup.

The club's executive -- which has surprisingly remained mum -- had initially offered US$20 000 for the league and US$40 000 from the Mbada Cup which the players rejected, torching a storm between the two parties.

The players' demands amounted to US$85 000, but their management which would have to raid the transfer market to boost their Champions League argued that they need to use some of the prize money to secure new players and cater for early preparations for the 2013 season.

But a window of hope opened on Wednesday as the players and their management angled towards a resolution to the matter with the club's board of directors secretary Bernard Marriott indicating that the founding fathers were closely monitoring the situation with a view to mediate.

Normalcy was expected to return to the Dynamos camp yesterday as the players and the executive appeared to make headway in negotiations on how to distribute the bonuses.

Dynamos also appeared one happy family again yesterday when they met with their patron Minister of Media, Information and Publicity Webster Shamu during a visit to the Embassy of the Republic of China.

The club was invited by the ambassador Lin Lin, who was the guest of honour at the team's end of year awards, for a photo-shoot in a gesture that appears to strengthen relations between the Glamour Boys and the embassy. DeMbare were led by board chairman Freddy Mkwesha and other members from the executive on the visit.

The Harare giants are also expected to put aside their in-house problems as they join hands with Mbada Diamonds on a charity cause to donate equipment at Mutare General Hospital this morning.

Mbada Diamonds executive George Manyaya yesterday said the programme with the Mbada Diamonds Cup winners was part of the social responsibility events lined up for this year.

"People have come to think that Mbada Diamonds is into football only because of the cup tournament, but I would like to stress that that we are involved in all aspects to do with the people.

"In fact health is one of our priorities and come 2013 you shall see that there will be many initiatives in that respect.

"We need a healthy society and to achieve that we can only start by supporting the institutions that provide the services. People should have access to good medical facilities and that is what we mean by harnessing diamonds for the benefit of the communities. This is just a start because charity begins at home.

"As I speak, the situation at the Mutare Hospital is not looking good. I hear they have only four wheelchairs being used at the hospital," said Manyaya.

The diamond mining concern will donate beds, bin trolleys, 50 wheelchairs, 50 bed trolleys and also facilitate the paving of a damaged stretch of the road that leads to the institution.

Manyaya said the visit will also offer the patients an opportunity to meet and interact with their local football idols.

A Dynamos official who chose to remain anonymous also indicated that a compromise deal was on the cards as talks were still going on by yesterday.

"The negotiations are still going on and it appears an agreement is in sight. Otherwise it's not a very big issue. The executive and the players agreed on a certain percentage for the share of the total prize money last season but the players are asking for an upward revision.

"They felt that the money is not enough. It's a bargain and you know what happens when people are negotiating.

"One side will be pulling in this direction and the second side on the other direction but I think they are going to agree on something at the end of the day," said the official.

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