DENVER Mukamba has had an eventful time since returning home from an unsuccessful stint in South Africa, hitting the headlines mostly for the wrong reasons.
BY HENRY MHARA
The public criticism of the former Warriors captain has been unrelenting. But he has been inviting it all himself.
In a short space of time since his return from down south, he has twice been cast-out by Dynamos and Caps United, both who struggled to curb his errant behaviour, on and off the pitch.
Far too often, he would go away without official leave at Dynamos.
Former coach Lloyd Mutasa, who first brought the hugely talented midfielder to the fore as raw teenager, gave up on him at the start of this term.
He was shipped off to rivals Caps United on loan, who are coached by a known disciplinarian in Lloyd Chitembwe. But trouble seemed to trail the 25-year-old wherever he went.
Less than six months into his one-year loan deal, Chitembwe also gave up and offloaded him.
Remarkably, DeMbare, the club that gave him fame, readmitted him, and in the past few months, the former Bidvest Wits and Jomo Cosmos player has showed some signs of repentance.
But for all his disruptive behaviour, his talent has been without doubt.
Before he was fired, Mutasa’s faith in Mukamba had been restored such that at times he even wore the captain’s armband.
As DeMbare face a defining period in their bid to beat the drop, new coach Lloyd Chigowe is also putting his faith in the attacking midfielder and is expecting a major contribution from him.
The Harare giants, who are currently in the relegation zone, have just six matches to save their season. For Chigowe, Mukamba holds the keys to the team’s success, or failure thereof.
“Denver is an asset to any team, and if we are able to utilise his vast technique and talents, then we will be unstoppable. I will not say much for fear of alerting and informing the opposition,” Chigowe said when asked about the influence the eccentric player can bring to his team.
Mukamba missed Dynamos’ trip to FC Platinum last week due to personal problems, where they fell 2-0 to slide down into the relegation zone where they currently sit on the demotion cut-off point.
But he was back at training this week, and should lead his team in the battle against Herentals in the Chibuku Super Cup quarter-final at Rufaro Stadium tomorrow.
He is one of the four players that return to the team, with wingers Valentine Kadonzvo, Emmanuel Mandiranga and midfielder Kudzanai Dhemere also back in the fold after recovering from injuries.
But Ocean Mushure, Cleopas Kapupurika and Brett Amidu are out of the match for different reasons.
While the trio’s absence is a concern for Chigowe for this match, his main worry is the continuous dwindling of supporters’ numbers at Dynamos matches.
“My appeal to the Dynamos supporters is that it’s high time that they should come back, so that we swim together. Its not good that they only support the team when its playing well, and they desert us when we are not playing well. Things have not been happening for us, but the time is nay, and we are on to something. The supporters are only the missing link and if they can come and give us a deafening roar, definitely we will be able to cross the line,” Chigowe pleaded.
He said he would be happy to win tomorrow and progress further in the competition, whose rewards are massive, but surviving relegation remains his top priority.
To have any chance of survival, DeMbare need to win at least three of their remaining matches. Their remaining fixtures are against Black Rhinos, Herentals, Caps United, Triangle, Mutare City and Nichrut.