The Herald (Harare)

Zimbabwe: Dembare Get Their Man

CHAMPIONS Dynamos revealed yesterday how they came tantalisingly close to abandoning their bid to secure striker Francisco Zekumbawira, who finally completed his move from Hwange yesterday. The arrival of the forward is a huge boost for DeMbare ahead of their Bob '89 Super Cup final showdown against Highlanders at Rufaro on Sunday.

The Glamour Boys have secured the forward on a year's loan deal and paid US$15 000 for his services.

Hwange agreed last year to release the player but Dynamos have been trying, without success, to negotiate a part payment plan as they felt the price tag on the player was a bit high.

Zekumbawira, who was also included in the Dynamos Champions League squad, resurfaced at the Glamour Boys' training yesterday.

This came barely a week after his employers at Hwange had stopped him from training with the Harare giants until all outstanding issues had been ironed out.

Dynamos chairman, Kenny Mubaiwa, yesterday confirmed that Zekumbawira was now free to play for the Glamour Boys.

"This whole thing has taken longer than we had expected because of the disagreements we had during the negotiations," said Mubaiwa.

"There were times when we thought we should just drop the deal altogether but since we had registered him for the Champions League, we felt we should just run around and pay up.

"Our proposal was to service the debt in instalments but Hwange insisted that they wanted their money in full and it ended up taking this long.

"The money has now been released and I am sure they (Hwange) should have received it by today. We want to maintain good relations. Unfortunately when such issues dominate the media it ends up putting the player under a lot of pressure.

"So we just want him to feel at home and play to the best of his abilities," said Mubaiwa.

Hwange spokesperson, Burzil Dube, could not be reached for comment last night.

Zekumbawira appeared at Dynamos' training last week, just before their Champions League tie against Lesotho Correctional Services but could not feature in the match as Hwange had not cleared him.

But now with everything settled, DeMbare are hoping to get his papers in order and might throw the player into the fray in Sunday's Bob'89 Super Cup second leg against Highlanders at Rufaro.

Dynamos are leading 2-1 courtesy of the first leg victory at Barbourfields two weeks ago.

Zekumbawira's arrival should give the coaches more options upfront as he joins new signings Washington Pakamisa, Allan Tavarwisa, Clive Kawinga and Patrick Kumbula who is returning from loan.

However, the other players are not eligible to play in Champions League at this stage.

This means Dynamos coach, Callisto Pasuwa, could be tempted to give Zekumbawira game time to assess him before their return leg against LCS in Maseru.

Dynamos started the first leg without a natural striker and beat the Southern Africa minnows 3-0 at home.

Meanwhile, organisers of the Bob '89 Super Cup said everything was going according to plan and a roadshow was set to be held in the capital tomorrow.

"We are getting closer and closer to the big and special event and we are making sure that everything is set because we want to put up a grand show that befits the occasion that we are celebrating," Bob Super Cup founder, Stan Kasukuwere, said yesterday.

"The guys have been working extremely hard to put up a good show and we will have a road show in Harare on Saturday.

"We had a memorable show in Bulawayo but this is the grand finale and we have to do better and we are determined to do so.

"We are certain that we will have a full-house on the day of the match on Sunday."

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