The Herald (Harare)

15 February 2013

Zimbabwe: 'You Can Play for Free'. . . the Shock Charity Deal That Makepekepe Offered Shingi

FORMER Zimbabwe international striker, Shingi Kawondera, has made sensational claims that he was offered a deal to stay at CAPS United and play for free until the club's finances, which are in tatters right now, improve in the future.

The 30-year-old forward's claims came on the day Washington Pakamisa, the former CAPS United skipper, moved closer to joining bitter rivals Dynamos.

Kawondera, the dreadlocked forward who joined the Green Machine in July last year, as a free agent following a stint in Cyprus and Greece, told The Herald yesterday that he was offered a deal for social soccer players to stay at CAPS United.

Once a vital cog for the Warriors, Kawondera spent years in Europe before deciding to come back home last year with high hopes of retracing his way back into the senior national team.

But his homecoming show has not been so rosy as the player went for 11 games without finding the target at CAPS United before breaking his goal duck in the match against Blue Rangers at the National Sports Stadium on September 26.

CAPS United are reeling under a financial crisis and Kawondera said they have been told that the club cannot sustain their demands.

"The whole issue is to do with money. They told us that the club does not have money because (Farai) Jere is no longer around.

"One option was that if we wanted to stay at CAPS United, then we will play for free.

"But that is not possible because we have obligations to meet and we reached an amicable agreement to be released," said Kawondera.

He said he would take a small break before deciding on his future next week.

"Now that I have left CAPS United, I will consider offers that will come as from next week," said Kawondera.

"Right now I have stopped training but I hope to get my contacts during the weekend and then decide my next move."

For this week, Kawondera said, he will let the dust settle before moving forward as he still feels there is still some good football in his pair of 30-year old legs.

His former strike partner Pakamisa, who grew up in the CAPS United family from the juniors and had a short stint with Gunners, appears to have responded to the striker crisis at the Glamour Boys and has decided to cross the Great Divide.

The veteran forward feels abused, by the way the new CAPS United management have treated him, following his sacking for being part of a crew of senior players who voiced their concern over their outstanding dues.

Pakamisa, goalkeeper Itai Chiwara, Luckson Kaisa, Asani Nhongo, Tapiwa Khumbuyani, Shingi Kawondera and Nqobile Mpala were axed by CAPS United after a row over outstanding bonuses and salaries erupted at the club.

Pakamisa trained with Dynamos yesterday and while that is tantamount to a betrayal on the scale of Judas Iscariot to the CAPS United fans, the forward feels his family still needs to have a meal on their table and the Green Machine's leadership have treated him badly.

CAPS United have been homeless, since being forced out of the Eastlea premises Jere had secured as a club-house for the team, when the businessman decided to pursue other interests and use the two-storey building for other purposes.

Players who were dismissed this week had to get their dismissal letters from a Harare hotel whose foyer was converted into a makeshift meeting place for the club.

Zambian youth international, Jeff Kapelwa, who was on the verge of signing for the Green Machine, has now set his sights on either joining DeMbare or moving to South Africa.

The 20-year-old Red Arrows forward, who is highly-rated after helping his country's Under-20 team win the Cosafa Youth Championships in Botswana, was invited for trials at CAPS United last year and impressed.

But, after the two parties had agreed terms, challenges emerged.

"We have been waiting to hear from CAPS United for a month or so now but nothing has been coming from that side," his agent, Chiti Chitundu, told The Herald yesterday.

"From what I hear, I don't think CAPS United have the funds to make the deal go through and I can say that it's becoming pretty much difficult to expect the deal to go through now.

"We believe Jeff is a good player, who has a lot of potential and could be getting into the Chipolopolo team now, and he had set his sights on joining CAPS because he liked what he saw when he came there.

"He is still training with Red Arrows but we are hoping to get him on the move and we will see, maybe he will go to South Africa, or we can talk to Dynamos and see what happens."

But it's not all doom and gloom for CAPS United.

Former skipper Danger Fourpence was at the team's training session at the National Sports Stadium B Arena yesterday.

Fourpence was playing in the lower leagues in South Africa last year while another former CAPS United defender Itai Gwandu was also at training yesterday.

Former Monomotapa striker Tawanda Nyandandwe is close to inking a deal with CAPS United while Warriors rightback Hardlife Zvirekwi, Blessing Zabula, Rahman Kutsanzira, Tendai Samanja and Leonard Fiyado are among the senior players to be retained this season.

Meanwhile, coach Mkhupali Masuku is on his way out of CAPS United.

Club chief executive, Joe Makuvire, said they will be filling the post by the end of the month.

"Masuku is helping but the executive has decided to advertise and solicit for the post of head coach.

"We want to get the best candidate for the job because he will have the critical responsibilities of spearheading our technical committee and our academy teams," said Makuvire.

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