While all other teams-including traditional giants Dynamos and Highlanders are financially struggling that does not seem to be the case with newly promoted Premiership side Mimosa.
They are the first to enter the Premiership from the new Zifa baby, the Central Region, and will play at their mine home ground, a few kilometres from the base of rivals Shabanie Mine.
It’s quite surprising though that the small mining town has two teams in the top flight, the same as the country’s second largest city, Bulawayo.
Mimosa is wholly-owned by Mimosa Investments Limited, a Mauritius-based company jointly held by Implats and Aquarius Platinum Limited (Aquarius) in a 50-50 joint venture. It is located at the Wedza Geological Complex on the Zimbabwean Great Dyke east of Bulawayo.
In 2007 the operation produced 78 200 ounces of platinum in concentrate.
Mimosa was acquired by Zimasco from Union Carbide in 1993. Zimasco piloted platinum mining in Zimbabwe by resuscitating the operation and steadily increasing production to 1 000 tonnes of ore per day by 1998. In July 2001, Implats acquired a 35% stake in Mimosa for a consideration of R246 million.
This stake was increased to 50% with a further acquisition of 15% in August of the following year. Aquarius acquired a 50% stake in Mimosa during the same year.
Mimosa’s social responsibility is aimed at making a lasting impression on the community in which it operates, even long after the mine has ceased to operate. The projects here focus primarily on, but are not limited to, education, community development and primary healthcare.
Some of the specific projects supported by Mimosa, according to their website, include University of Zimbabwe which received $89 000 towards the funding of 15 computers, a printer and a processor as well as a minibus for the campus.
Dadaya Primary School in Zvishavane had a classroom block constructed as well as an ablution facility at a cost of $310 000.
A refrigerated mortuary building was provided for the Zvishavane District Hospital mortuary at a cost of $207 748.
In the last week, several top-flight players have made the trip to Mimosa to sign contracts and while the team management has kept a lid on their deals, there is no doubt the Manchester City of Zimbabwean football has hit town.
In fact, they have come in the way Delma Lupepe and AmaZulu landed and deservedly won the league title under the guidance of Luke Masomere in 2003.
Starting from the technical bench, they are only looking for the best three: country championship-winning coach Rahman Gumbo (he has won in Zimbabwe, Malawi and Botswana) and UK-trained Benjamin Moyo, a holder of a Uefa A Licence coaching qualification.
With Jairos Tapera having led the team into the Premiership, he cannot be discarded just like that and he will be what Damiel Comolli is to struggling Liverpool, director of football strategy.
The list of players linked to Mimosa is impressive and two have already signed, the Motor Action duo of Charles Sibanda and Bheki Ncube.
There are five tricky customers, the Highlanders brothers of Zephaniah and Joel Ngodzo and the Gunners trio of Norman Maroto, Tafadzwa Dube and Ali Sadiki. It might not be easy to prise these from Bulawayo and Harare, but there are issues of the stomach at play here.
When players complain from the season’s start to year-end about money and someone happens to dangle the biggest carrot, why not make the move?
While official figures are not available, they will never be anyway, sources say signing-on fees range from $2 500 depending on negotiations, but enough to buy a small family car.
Salaries of $500 per month are guaranteed , plus winning bonuses of $500 per game excluding other allowances.
That can bring a players’ total earnings, based on four wins a month, to an average of $2 000.
It is understood Mimosa want to pay $10 000 for leftback John Kapenya and if they can fork out that type of money for a player who struggled at Highlanders and Dynamos, then they can pay anything for just about everybody.
The other Hwange pair of Ntokozo Tshuma and Simon Njeleza are also on their radar; Dynamos’ Wonder Sithole, Nicholas Alifandika, Thabani Kamusoko and Khumbulani Banda are also wanted. So is Under-20 and 23 international Simba Sithole.
A luxury coach was made available for the players to undergo medical tests in Bulawayo and the players are reportedly accommodated in houses, along the Masvingo Road.
Because of their Mauritius links, the club is believed to be linked to Cyprus, some of the shareholders hail from that country.
But does the money mean anything?
No. Bulls owners Eric Rosen will say.
“I think we have a situation where teams come up with big monies and cause a lot of commotion. It’s the same with Sporting Lions, Mwana Africa and AmaZulu, they came with big money and caused commotion, but where are they are now? They went down fast. It’s the same with Mimosa.”