BY FORTUNE MBELE
HIGHLANDERS new signing Rodi Sibanda, who came in from Orlando Pirates is yet to get his international transfer certificate (ITC) from the South Africa Football Association (Safa).
Sibanda (20) is a Zimbabwean based in South Africa, who started his football career at Bidvest Wits Academy before he moved to Pirates, playing for their juniors and then the reserve side before he was released by the Buccaneers mid-last year.
He has opted to return home and relaunch his career at Highlanders.
Highlanders spokesperson Ronald Moyo yesterday confirmed that the young striker had not received the paperwork from South Africa and the Bulawayo giants were in touch with Safa to expedite the process.
With the coronavirus pandemic having caused a delay in the start of the season, he has time to sort out his paperwork before the season starts.
Moyo yesterday could only say: “We are still searching for his papers with Safa”.
Sibanda, who played in Highlanders’ second string side in a friendly match against Chapungu at Luveve Stadium, was not available for the Castle Challenge Cup which Highlanders lost 2-0 to league champions FC Platinum at Barbourfields Stadium last Saturday.
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Two days before the Castle Challenge Cup, club chief executive officer Nhlanhla Dube said the club had done their part on the administrative side.
“He (Sibanda) was recommended to us and we invited him over. The coaches had a good look at him. He is a centre-forward and we are in the process of tying up with him. Playing for Highlanders might take longer than you anticipated because there is international clearance to talk about. But on the administrative side, the work has been done,” Dube said.
Before Sibanda was released by Pirates, he scored 12 goals in six matches in the Under-19 Pirates Cup and was selected for the club’s Project X 2019 that toured the United Kingdom.
He scored 43 goals in 28 games in 2017 when he was promoted to the Pirates reserve side, the Under-23s. He will be fighting it out for a place in the team with Prince Dube, Tinashe Makanda, Ray Lunga and the newly-signed veterans Mkhokheli Dube and Michelle Katsvairo.
The Bulawayo giants also promoted forward Muziwakhe Dhlamini from their developmental side.