The Warriors will have to put behind their travails of the African football jungle and concentrate on getting a positive result when they clash with hostile hosts Burundi in the first round, first leg of the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers tomorrow.
Having arrived in Bujumbura around 3pm on Sunday, the Warriors were booked into the sub-standard Hotel Alexestel on Avenue Heha in downtown Rohero I and had to spend the night there while trying to negotiate better lodgings.
The rooms, according to the little information available on the Internet, are described as either basic, standard and premium single rooms and double rooms.
Facilities offered include free wireless Internet connection, free swimming pool and a trendy bar-restaurant with game tables.
That did not stop the Warriors — led by Rahman Gumbo — from conducting their first training session in the Central African country yesterday morning, according to team manager Nyika Chifamba talking to NewsDay Sport from Bujumbura.
“This is Africa and you really cannot complain much, but we have just finished our morning training session as we cannot sit and complain. These are mind games.
“We had a meeting early today (yesterday) on this accommodation issue and a lot of other things that are wrong. We are told it is the government, through the Ministry of Sport, who did the bookings and they say they will look into the matter urgently,” Chifamba said in the morning.
The situation was still the same as of last night.
“They did look into the matter and advised us that this was the best the ministry could afford so we are staying here,” Chifamba said after the second training session.
He said they would talk to the players about the conditions so that their preparations would not be affected.
“Of course, the preparations will be affected, but we need to talk to the players about their mentality. These are the jungles of Africa and you expect this,” he said.
The camp was almost in tatters after news that Cyprus-based defender Noel Kaseke would no longer be able to travel to Bujumbura, a situation that would have left Gumbo with only Vusa Nyoni, Onisimor Bhasera, Tapiwa Khumbuyani, Arnold Chaka and Godfrey Moyo.
This situation, Chifamba says, is because clubs lie to the media that they would not have received call-up letters in time.
“Communication was done in time; the problem is with the club. It’s the same with Terrence Mandaza at Platinum Stars. They (Stars) professed ignorance that they had not seen the letter, but when we phoned Safa, they suddenly said they were aware of the call-up.
“It’s not right at all, these clubs lie that Zifa has not communicated yet we have evidence in black and white that we would have done so in time,” the former Dynamos manager said.
Germany-based Knowledge Musona will arrive this morning with Kaseke while Vusa Nyoni, who plays in Belgium, joined up with the rest of his teammates late yesterday.
Burundi, for sure, is an African jungle. Here is one country that has never qualified for the Afcon finals or the World Cup on a mission to frustrate the Warriors in the hope of getting a home victory and finishing us off on the weekend of July 15-17.
According to Wikipedia, Burundi is a landlocked country in the Great Lakes region of Eastern Africa bordered by Rwanda to the north, Tanzania to the east and south, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west.
Although the country is landlocked, much of the south-western border is adjacent to Lake Tanganyika.
The Twa, Tutsi and Hutu peoples have occupied Burundi since the country’s formation five centuries ago. Burundi was ruled as a kingdom by the Tutsi for over 200 years. However, at the beginning of the 20th century, Germany and Belgium occupied the region, and Burundi and Rwanda became a European colony known as Ruanda-Urundi.
Political unrest occurred throughout the region, in part, because of social differences between the Tutsi and Hutu, provoking civil war in Burundi throughout the middle 20th century. Presently, Burundi is governed as a presidential representative democratic republic.
Burundi is one of the five poorest countries in the world. It has one of the lowest per capita gross domestic products of any nation in the world.
It has a low gross domestic product largely due to civil wars, corruption and poor access to education. It is densely populated, with substantial emigration. Cobalt and copper are among Burundi’s natural resources. Some of Burundi’s main exports include coffee and sugar.