HARARE – Dynamos’ bid to assemble a competitive side ahead of the 2018 Castle Lager Premiership season suffered a huge blow after midfielder Tichaona Chipunza dumped the club to join rivals Ngezi Platinum Stars, Daily News on Sunday can reveal.
Chipunza, who was voted the club’s Most Consistent Player last season after making 33 league starts, is joining Ngezi as a free agent after failing to renew his contract with the Glamour Boys.
Dynamos coach Lloyd Mutasa had indicated his desire to keep Chipunza and a host of other players for next season but the team’s executive appeared reluctant to settle the $8 000 debt owed to the gritty midfielder to open negotiations for the renewal of his contract which expired on December 31.
Chipunza’s departure is a big blow for the Glamour Boys considering that he was one of the standout performers for their side last season in which they finished in second place two points behind FC Platinum.
Dynamos secretary-general Webster Marechera yesterday confirmed to the Daily News on Sunday that they are resigned to losing the battle to keep the midfielder.
“Chipunza is out of contract yes, but from the look of things it appears he has since set his sight on a move elsewhere and there is nothing we can do,” Marechera said.
“He no longer wants to play for us and we cannot stand in his way. We will leave him to join a team of his choice. We can only deal with those who want to play for us. We are hearing a lot of things but we are not moved, we are actually relaxed because everything is under control.
“Our coaches have since given us their wish list and that’s what we are currently working on.”
While Ngezi Platinum officials could not immediately confirm the signing of Chipunza, the Daily News on Sunday is reliably informed that the midfielder has joined the ambitious side becoming their first signing during this off season.
Frank Mukarati who was at How Mine last season and former Dynamos defender Elisha Muroiwa are also reported to be finalising terms to join Tonderai Ndiraya’s charges.
Meanwhile, Harare City coach Mark Harrison insists they are doing everything in their power to try and keep star midfielder William Manondo, who has since emerged as a prime target for Dynamos.
The Sunshine Boys will be playing in the Zifa Northern Region Division One League after they were relegated from the Castle Lager Premier League and Manondo is one of the players who is believed to be keen on a fresh start.
But despite being relegated, Manondo had been influential for the Sunshine Boys and Harrison who was tasked to lead the team back into the top flight last week following the sacking of Philani “Beefy” Ncube, is desperate to keep the player.
Manondo is believed to have already agreed terms with the Dynamos hierarchy after holding talks last Friday.
But despite that, Harrison reiterated that the club intends to keep the player.
“He is not going anywhere. He is our player and we will not sell him. He is very important to us and we would like to keep him,” Harisson told the Daily News on Sunday.
“Yes, there has been interest in him from some big clubs, but we are not looking at that because we want Manondo to stay for the forthcoming season. Also he has not approached the club that he wants to leave. He has one-year left on his contract so he is still our player.
Harrison continued: “In fact we have retained every player that has a contract with us. It’s not only Manondo whom we want to keep, we are keeping all our players including Malvin Gaki and Tendai Samanja, they are all important players to us.”
Marechera admitted that the club is interested in the services of Manondo and is hopeful a deal would be reached in the coming days while also confirming that efforts to bring Rapheal Manuvire from ZPC Kariba are at an advanced stage.
“We have to officially communicate with them (Harare City). He still has a running contract with them and we are praying they would release him to us probably on loan,” Marechera said.
“What I can only confirm is that Manuvire’s deal is 99 percent done. There are some few things left otherwise we are almost through.”
Marechera also took time to explain the correct position regarding some players’ contracts at the club ahead of the start of their preparations tomorrow.
He said: “I am actually surprised there are some people who are saying Ocean Mushure and Peace Makaha’s contracts expired last year. That’s a lie. Mushure still has one year left on his contract the same as Makaha. The two are still our players.
“Also Cleopas Kapupurika has agreed terms to renew his contract following the expiry of his initial loan deal at the end of last year.”