FORMER Highlanders midfielder Charles Sibanda is headed to Zambia side Power Dynamos after failing to agree terms with the Bulawayo giants for the 2015 Castle Lager Premier Soccer League season, our sister paper Southern Eye Sport has established.
Power Dynamos are coached by former FC Platinum and Hwange gaffer Tenant Chilumba and will be playing in the Caf Confederation Cup this season. Sibanda, if he signs a deal before January 15, can still be registered in the final squad of the Zambia team before the club championships kick off on February 13.
Sibanda joined Highlanders last year from Platinum on a one-year contract and emerged as the club and one of the country’s top goalscorers with 12 goals and made it into Castle Lager Premier Soccer League’s best 11.
He shared the golden boot award with How Mine’s Kuda Musharu and could become the second Zimbabwean in the FAZ/MTN Super League after Zimiseleni Moyo, who spent five years with champions Zesco United before deciding against renewing his contract at the end of last season.
Highlanders chief executive office Ndumiso Gumede yesterday confirmed that their deal with Sibanda has fallen through after he demanded more than they could afford.
“We got communication that he (Sibanda) wants a lot of money as signing on fees,” Gumede said.
“His agent told us that if we want him we have to pay the money but we do not have that kind of money.”
Highlanders’ sponsorship was recently reviewed downwards by 43% by their main financial backer BancABC and Gumede said this is the reason why they have to let go of the talented midfielder.
“If you remember well our sponsorship was cut therefore we cannot afford the amount that he wants,” said Gumede who could not be drawn into revealing the amount.
Gumede said Sibanda would only be back to collect his official release letter. He said they were not privy to where Sibanda would go next but sources close to the midfielder confirmed that he is leaving today by road for Zambia.
The source confirmed: “He bought his ticket to Zambia yesterday (Saturday) and has said he will go if Highlanders are not willing to give him the money that he wants. Charles will be going to Power Dynamos. He said if he gets a better offer in Zambia he will join them.”
Sibanda has been the centre of speculation as he was linked to PSL champions Dynamos and South Africa’s Maritzburg United.
Online reports in Zambia say Power Dynamos have lost striker Felix Nyaende to Nkana Red Devils and Sibanda who is also a prolific goal scorer could be his replacement.
“The boy was lacking game time and looking at team there was a lot of competition. His discipline was good and he has a bright future. He is a good player and on behalf of the technical bench we wish him good luck at Nkana,” Chilumba is quoted saying in the Zambian media.
Power Dynamos are also on the verge of singing Green Buffaloes striker Felix Sunzu.
The Zambian club is based in Kitwe and is sponsored by Copper Belt Energy Corporation. Their home ground is the Arthur Davies Stadium which has a sitting capacity of 15 000.
Laughter Chilembe, who was formerly with Caps United played for the team while former Highlanders coach Mohamed Fathi was the coach in 2009.