ZIMBABWE Saints and Warriors legend Ephraim Chawanda popularly known as “The Rock Of Gilbraltar” has taken a swipe at the club’s leadership after the team was relegated from the Zifa Southern Region Division One league at a time when the prime objective was to bounce back to the Premier Soccer League.
Chauya Chikwata, as Zimbabwe Saints are popularly known, have been in the football wilderness for over a decade after they were relegated in 2011.
Businessman Felix Dzumbunu is the architect of the latest attempt to revive the club and chairs the executive on an interim basis while another businessman Vincent Pamire, a former club chairperson leads the board of trustees.
The Zifa Southern Region confirmed that Zimbabwe Saints, even after playing to a 1-1 draw with ZPC Hwange on Saturday, had been demoted from the league after just one season, along with Ajax Hotspurs, Quality Foods and Indosakusa.
Chawanda took to his social media account to vent his anger on the club’s leadership.
“It is a sad situation to see the club at which I made my name struggling to resuscitate its former glory. There have been lots of attempts to elevate the club to the apex league in Zimbabwe; of which once or twice the feat has been achieved only for the club to come crushing down into the dust. Here we talk of making it back into the premier league by different means, that is through the boardroom, buying out a franchise (status), both of which apparently large sums of money were used. A few months back there was talk of a ‘big’ sponsor signed up for our beloved Chikwata, but it seems like those bags of money could not save the team,” Chawanda said.
In a major boost for Chikwata, the club received a US$30 000 sponsorship deal from Adachi Disability Services in July.
Chawanda says the leadership must pass the baton to others willing to take the club forward.
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“What seems obvious is that it’s not about money or sponsorship (I know this is the oxygen of sport). It’s time we look at the leadership of the club from the board led by (Vincent) Pamire to the administration which is always meddled by (Gibson) Homela. I can confidently say these people have failed the team and must introspect on why after all these attempts, after all these ‘large sums’ of money, the club is still in the dust? It’s time they should swallow humble pie and allow other people to come aboard . . . not to just give the money, but to also lead in the club’s operations.”
Hwange bounced back to the top league after winning the Zifa Southern Region league.
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