Zim players trekking to Botswana as SA becomes difficult to penetrate

Taurai Mangwiro during his unveiling at Orapa United in the Botswana Premier League

AS the doors into the DStv Premiership seem to have closed, Zimbabwean footballers are trekking to the Botswana Premier League.

No Zimbabwean player managed to switch to the lucrative South African League; the DStv Premiership during the just ended transfer window.

The South African Premiership used to be home to many Zimbabwean players in the last decade.

Eight players retained their places in the league plus Ishmael Wadi and Talbert Shumba who are in the lower tier division.

And it is the Botswana Premier League that has been absorbing much of the Zimbabwean players in recent times.

Former Zimbabwe assistant coach Taurai Mangwiro, in-charge of Orapa United in Botswana thinks the country’s suspension from international football by the world football governing body, FIFA due to government interference slowed down transfers to South Africa.

“The ban affected everything including the movement of players. Undoubtedly a lot of players benefited from the South African league.

“Since this is a profession, there is a need to move on because families want to be fed.

“In Southern Africa, the DStv Premiership is the desired destination because of the competition and exposure,” Mangwiro said.

Former Baroka FC and Witbank Spurs forward Cleopas Dube headlines the growing contingent of Zimbabwean players currently in the league.

Dube signed a one-year contract with Sua Flamingoes. Former Polokwane striker Dominic Chungwa is also part of the same team, along with Mcebisi Moyo and Tendai Nyumasi.

Orapa United has three Zimbabweans, Kelvin Bingala formerly with four-time champions FC Platinum, former youth international Wilfred Muvirimi and Anelka Chivandire, who completed his move on Thursday.

Former national team assistant coach Mandla Mpofu is the current head coach at Masitaoka. Strikers where Jacob Mloyi and Simbarashe Manyoni are also part of the team.

Coach Rahman Gumbo recently surfaced at Morupule Wanderers which is also home to former FC Platinum striker Agrippa Murimba.

Jwaneng Galaxy recently signed midfielder workhorse Nqobizitha Masuku to join Daniel Msendami who joined in October 2022.

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