…but soap opera continues
DYNAMOS outcast Denver Mukamba yesterday made a surprise appearance at the team’s training ground where he was allowed to take part in the drills, but club coach Lloyd Mutasa insists that the maverick midfielder is not in his plans for the season.
BY HENRY MHARA
Mukamba has not trained with the team after being barred from joining the squad for their preseason training at the beginning of January due to disciplinary issues.
Even though he had been banned from the team’s dressing room, the 25-year had vowed to continue reporting for duty, as revealed in an exclusive interview he gave to NewsDaySport on February 4.
Following the interview, where Mukamba said he had reformed, Mutasa appeared to be softening his stance, but the midfielder reneged on his promise, as he never set foot at the team’s training ground.
However, he resurfaced at the team’s training base in Milton Park yesterday as the Glamour Boys resumed their training sessions, following their Zimbabwe National Army Charities Trophy triumph at the weekend.
“He came and asked to train with the squad and we asked him where he was all along,” Mutasa said. “He told us he had some issues he was sorting. We allowed him to train because we didn’t want to disturb the atmosphere in the team.”
He added, “As the technical team we will have to engage the executive and see if there had been changes to our earlier arrangement. We told them our stance on Denver and we were surprised to see him at training, so we will have to sit down and discuss his situation. In any case, we are almost done with our pre-season and the season starts next week so there is no way he will be able to catch up with the rest of the squad.”
But Mukamba, who attended both matches when Dynamos beat old rivals Caps United last week and Highlanders at the weekend to lift their first trophy of the season, is adamant.
“I’m back,” he said yesterday.
“There were a few things I was sorting and I feel the time is right for me to come back. A lot of things have been going on in my life and after some reflection in the last few weeks I feel I’m now in the right frame of mind to play football again. I was training on my own so I’m fit to play. I don’t think I’m far off in terms of fitness. I’m back at training because of my love for Dynamos. I want to play football again.”
Mukamba’s manager Gibson Mahachi said: “We had a meeting with the club’s management last week and agreed that he (Mukamba) should return to work. That the coach doesn’t want him is another matter. That is an issue they can resolve as a club.”
Mukamba still has a one-and-half-year contract with Dynamos, and it appears the club’s management wants to keep the player against Mutasa’s wishes, in fear of the possible costs that could arise from terminating such a contract.
Dynamos secretary-general Webster Marechera said he will meet the technical team and discuss the new developments.
“I’m currently away in Nyanga. I will deal with the issue when I return to Harare tomorrow (today).”
Mukamba’s relationship with Mutasa broke down when the player absented himself from training, together with defender Lincoln Zvasiya in the second half of last season.
Reports suggest the two were taking cough mixtures for intoxication and while Zvasiya was kicked out of the club, Mukamba was pardoned and allowed to carry on.
Even after that new lease of life, Mukamba still did not report for training and missed the final few matches, where Dynamos were embroiled in a title tussle with FC Platinum and Ngezi Platinum Stars.
Mutasa indicated that he was fed up with the player and preferred that he leaves the club.
But because of his running contract, DeMbare were in a tight spot and “persuaded” Mutasa to work with the midfielder this season.
Mukamba being himself, fooled everyone into believing he had reformed and would attend training sessions.
He missed the first week of training and only appeared in the second, but by then Mutasa’s patience had been stretched to the limit and the coach then said that Mukamba’s DeMbare career was over, at least during his time as head of the technical team.