Four Ghanaians who came to Zimbabwe from their home country with the hope of playing Division One football for Lowveld Pirates are stuck in the country due to the 21-day national lockdown meant to stem the spread of the deadly COVID-19 pandemic.
By Garikai Mafirakureva
The four — Peter Tibila (24), Francis Adjetey (23), John Adu Poku (22) and Nelson Adenyo (23) — are holed up in the Makondo area of Tshovani high-density suburb in Chiredzi.
They had come to Chiredzi intending to play for the newly-promoted Zifa Eastern Region Division One side, Lowveld Pirates.
The club, however, could not agree on a deal with either of the players, who now need to return home.
Zifa Eastern Region vice-chairperson Energy Zava confirmed that the players were in the country, but referred questions to the agent who brought them into the country.
“All I know is they came in from Accra. They have an agent there who deals with an agent here. The agent here is the one who knows every detail,” he said.
Tinashe Gomba, their agent in Zimbabwe, said he wanted to send them back, but was told by immigration officers to wait until the end of the lockdown.
“Yes, I can confirm there are some Ghanaians in Chiredzi. The problem with those boys is they do not want to process their work permits. They are also demanding US$400 salaries, which the owner of the team cannot afford. I suspect they are being influenced by another Ghanaian playing for Chiredzi Stars,” Gomba said.
“We are just waiting for the lockdown to be lifted so that they can return to their country. As far as I am concerned, they are not stranded. They are well-taken care of. It is only that they want to hold us to ransom. I was paying their rentals until the owner of the team, Jacob Matinyarare, took over.”
Matinyarare could not be reached for comment.
Masvingo province is likely to have eight teams joining the Zifa Eastern Region Division One league this season, more than the other two provinces in the same region.
Eastern Region comprises Mashonaland East, Manicaland and Masvingo provinces.
Claremont, Eland, PG Zaka, Maningi and Lowveld Pirates, Nzuma Bar (Mutare) and Chivhu will all be joining the league this term.