MIDFIELD maestro Tichaona Chipunza has joined Ngezi Platinum Stars after snubbing a contract renewal with Dynamos, as he becomes the latest high-profile player to leave the Harare football giants for the ambitious Mhondoro Ngezi team.
BY HENRY MHARA
The combative player spent the last two seasons with Dynamos, but it was last season when he flourished and deservedly voted the club’s most consistent player.
Dynamos were desperate to extend Chipunza’s stay following the expiry of his contract at the end of the year, but the player insisted on the team to settle the outstanding $8 000 from the previous contract before he could open negotiations for a new deal.
It appeared DeMbare were dragging their feet on the demands, and the well-resourced Ngezi Platinum Stars, just like they have done in the last two seasons, quickly moved in and prised the highly-rated player away.
Ngezi Platinum Stars chairman Jeremiah Gasitene yesterday confirmed the capture of Chipunza, but refused to give away the finer details of the contract.
“Tichaona is a Ngezi Platinum Stars player now. He signed a contract with us, and is part of our squad.That is all I can say,” Gasitene said.
He added that they were still in the process of strengthening the squad, as they look to win the Premier Soccer League title next season.
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Besides Chipunza, Ngezi have also bolstered their already fierce-looking squad with four more players.
Gasitene confirmed they have captured Tatenda Munditi and Bernard Donovan, two of the country’s most exciting prospects who have both featured for the country’s youth teams. Munditi was with relegated Harare City last season, while Donovan signed from How Mine.
Frank Mukarati has also joined from How Mine.
“The target for us next season is to win the league title. We have not made that a secret, so we are assembling a squad which we think can give us that goal. The one department that is lacking now is the strike force, so we are still looking to add one striker to the squad. Otherwise, we have assembled a very competitive squad,” said Gasitene.
Ngezi Platinum Stars were one of the league contenders last season, but faded away in the last few games of the season to eventually finish third on the log standings.
While the arrival of Munditi, Donovan and Mukarati appears good business for the club, it is the capture of Chipunza that looks a real coup.
The 23-year-old made his name at Triangle before moving to Dynamos in 2016. He struggled in his first season, but thrived last season, missing just one game for the team in the league.
He becomes the latest big-name player that Ngezi Platinum Stars have raided from Dynamos since their promotion into the league two seasons ago.
In the two years, they have signed from Dynamos Godknows Murwira, Walter Mukanga, Dominic Mukandi, Tichaona Mabvura, Kelvin Bulaji and Zivanai Mhanda. Washington Pakamisa and Liberty Chakoroma also have Dynamos links, while the team’s current coach Tonderai Ndiraya (pictured) is a Dynamos legend, having played and coached the Harare giants with distinguished success.
To make way for the new arrivals, Ndiraya’s side have released fringe players such as Pakamisa, Edgar Tapera, Knowledge Machona and Davison Tavari, while Patson Jaure has joined Zambian club Buildcon.