Grace Chingoma, Harare Bureau
EXACTLY six months after joining Tanzanian Premiership outfit Singida United, Zimbabwean trio of Simba Nhivi, Wisdom Mutasa and Elisha Muroiwa have found themselves in the cold after they were released by the club early this week.
The players joined the ambitious East African side during the June transfer window.
The club is also home to two more Zimbabwean players — former Chicken Inn midfielder Tafadzwa Kutinyu and forward Mitchel Katsvairo on loan from South Africa giants Kaizer Chiefs.
But according to reports coming from Tanzania, the club has decided they no longer require the services of Muroiwa, Mutasa and Nhivi.
The reasons for the divorce according to sources close to the club are two-way with one school citing alleged incompetence and claiming that coffers might be drying up for the club which has had a fairy tale rise from the country’s third tier league into the top-flight in successive years.
Singida are owned by businessman Yusuf Mwandami and bankrolled by Tanzanian Minister of Home Affairs Mwigulu Nchemba, who is the Member of Parliament of the area the team hails from.
It is, however, alleged that Singida decided to part ways with the three players due to their below par performances “especially from foreigners’’.
“They are rather disappointed that the players failed to rise and the only Zimbabwean who has been getting game time is Tafadzwa Kutinyu, who is safe and will not be returning home when his compatriots do.
“Wisdom didn’t even kick the ball for the team and was loaned to some other club in the league. The club just heard about the players and straight away signed them but never assessed them. The club is not amused and have realised that they were sold a dummy,” said the source.
However, the other source claims that the club is no longer doing well financially and is failing to meet their obligations. Recently one of their partners, a sports betting company called SportPesa announced they would not be able to continue sponsoring the team beyond January 2018.
“The club no longer have the capacity to meet their obligations as they are struggling. They had sort of over committed and the players were getting good salaries and the only way is to release them.
“No one is safe there, even Kutinyu. It’s depends on the decisions they will make but it’s also not clear how long he will survive there. They are also having issues with Mitchel Katsvairo, who is on loan from Kaizer Chiefs. They are failing to honour his loan obligations as well.
“So definitely it cannot be about non-performance by the players. How can all the four foreign players have the same problem with the club at the same time?” said the source.
Dynamos coach, Lloyd Mutasa, said his son is currently in South Africa since the Tanzanian league in on CeCafa break.
“They had agreed to give him clearance because he was not happy at Stand United where he was loaned. The coach (Dutch coach, Hans van Pluijm) said he wanted a striker not someone who plays in Wisdom’s position, so they got Mitchel on loan and Wisdom was loaned out to another club, a lower side compared to Singida standards.
“He had received part payment of signing-on fees for one year. He signed a two-year contract but was paid for the first year, and they still owe him. Even the salary was coming in bits and pieces. So he is likely to get his clearance and return home,” said Mutasa.
Gibson Mahachi, who represents Nhivi, said they are currently in discussion with the club for a mutual termination.
“Regarding Simba, we are still in discussion with the club in as far as mutual termination is concerned but I cannot expressly mention the reasons why it is happening as part of it is confidential,” said Mahachi.
The former Caps United forward first move outside the country was back in 2011 when he joined South African Premiership side Mamelodi Sundowns. He had an unsuccessful stint before returning home to revive his career at Dynamos.
Again in 2013 he was back in the Super Diski, this time at SuperSport but the stint was short lived and he returned to the Green Machine to revive his career and went on to win the league.
But contracts talks at the beginning of the year collapsed and the club failed to tie down the player who even featured in the Champions’ League and helped Caps United qualify for the Group Stages for the first time.