4 January 2013

Zimbabwe: Dembare, Hwange Row

DYNAMOS' bid to bolster their attack with the acquisition of Hwange striker Francisco Zekumbawire appears to have to have hit a snag following claims that the coalminers have put a US$130 000 price tag for the player's services.

Not even a number of clubs in South Africa's Supa Disk are likely to part with such a figure (about R1,1 million) for a local player, but Hwange believe that it is the real value for the Warriors trialist forward.

Zekumbawire is among nine players Dynamos have targeted for the 2013 season and has already been registered on the 25-man squad the Harare giants submitted to the Confederation of African Football for the Champions League.

The others include another Hwange player, Zambian defender Aaron Katebe, Ugandan striker Boban Zirintusa, goalkeeper Artwell Mukandi, defender Morris Kadzola and midfielders Sydney Linyama, Steven Alimenda and Russell Madamombe.

Dynamos are expected to get their pre-season training camp underway in the capital on Monday.

But it has emerged that the league and cup champions are encountering serious problems in tying up some of the deals to bring the players they believe will help them mount a strong challenge for the Champions League tournament in which they have performed poorly in the last two years.

It emerged yesterday that the move to bring rangy striker Zekumbawire to the Glamour Boys is being stalled by Hwange's demands.

Dynamos have naturally rejected that price arguing that it is as ridiculous as it is uneconomical given that it would be nearly double the US$75 000 which the Harare giants pocketed just to win the Castle Lager Premiership.

The figure that Hwange are allegedly demanding for Zekumbawire also exceeds the US$100 000 which Dynamos received for winning the country's richest knockout tournament -- the Mbada Diamonds Cup in November last year.

Hwange's demands have literally left Dynamos fretting over the player's availability as it could leave them in a quandary given that they cannot tamper with the Champions League squad list and deregister Zekumbawire in the event that talks with the coalminers eventually collapse.

That development and news that midfielder Linyama is still contracted to Chicken Inn who want US$20 000 for the player is already giving coach Callisto Pasuwa a headache as his club's management have been trying to seal all the deals in time for the start of the pre-season training.

Linyama appears to have misled DeMbare into believing that his contract with Chicken Inn had expired but the Bulawayo outfit are adamant that he still had a year left on his deal and can only release him if Dynamos pay US$20 000.

Pasuwa, however, wants all the players to be focused on their 2013 mission by the time they regroup on Monday and ensure that "everyone starts pre-season on the same footing rather than have some players come in very late because they would still have been negotiating their contracts".

The 2012 Premiership Coach of The Year also revealed that DeMbare had been taken aback by Hwange's demands, accusing the coalminers of making a U-turn on the initial talks between the two clubs.

Pasuwa said although the negotiations were being handled by the club's management, he felt obliged to speak out against "the ballooning demands on some of the players that we had targeted".

The Dynamos coach said although he expected teams to cash in on selling players he believed the clubs and player agents needed to acknowledge that "ours is not a very rich league and teams or player agents should not make exorbitant demands simply because we will be playing in the Champions League".

"That is why I am saddened about the developments with regards Francisco and even Linyama.

"We had been given assurance that we could go ahead and register the player because they (Hwange) understood that we needed the player and we had to submit names to Caf on time, now I understand they are making a U-turn and making some huge demands which Dynamos cannot afford and I don't think many other teams in the league can afford that and it is unfortunate.

"That figure is nearly double what we got for winning the league championship," Pasuwa said.

Yet there are no such problems between Dynamos and Hwange over the services of Katebe with Pasuwa revealing that the deal to bring the Zambian to DeMbare is almost complete and he is expecting the tough centre back to join his new teammates next week.

While DeMbare are bitter at the sensational charges being levied for Zekumbawire's signature, Hwange secretary Burzil Dube professed ignorance on the figure and insisted he would check with his colleagues in the coalminers management today.

"I was not in the office for the past two weeks. The last communication I had was with Kazembe (former Dynamos secretary-general) but I am not aware of the price that has now been put on any of our players.

"I know that there were talks between our two clubs over Katebe and Francisco and I should have an answer on the matter by tomorrow," Dube said.

Dynamos are also still to conclude contract talks with speedy forward Martin Vengesai and defensive midfielder Devon Chafa with the Harare giants reportedly trying to tie the two players to longer term deals.

Vengesai and Chafa had one year contracts with Dynamos which expired on December 31 but the Glamour Boys are trying to move away from signing short term deals which have often left them without any benefits when players move to clubs outside the country.

Former Kiglon striker Vengesai had an indifferent season last year, struggling to command a regular place in an attack that was fronted by Takesure Chinyama and Roderick Mutuma in the first half of the term.

When Chinyama left for Orlando Pirates, the DeMbare coaches thrust in Farai Mupasiri and newboy Simba Sithole which meant that Vengesai had to contend with having to come off the bench.

It is against the background of their performance appraisal of the striker that the Dynamos management are understood to be reluctant to pay US$6 500 for Vengesai and another US$4 000 signing on fees for him "just for 2013".

Chafa's club, Northern Region Division One side DC Academy, are also reported to have demanded US$18 000 for the former Eagles and Black Rhinos player.

"Dynamos have no problems with the US$18 000 for Devon for a three year deal but the sticking point is that Dynamos want to agree on terms of paying that money yet DC Academy are demanding US$18 000 cash and are insisting that if there is no lump sum payment, then the parties should go for a one year loan deal.

"The executive and the board have since agreed that Dynamos should not go for one year loan deals because they do not bring in any benefits to the club yet players would have used the team as a platform to get clubs outside the country.

"If you look at such players like Archieford Gutu and Denver Mukamba, there is nothing in it for Dynamos from their sales because they were simply on loan to the club," sources close to the deals said last night.

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