Sikhumbuzo Moyo, Senior Sports Reporter
ECCENTRIC former Highlanders’ goalkeeper Tapuwa Kapini has made sensational claims that player agent Gibson Mahachi is imposing players from his stable on the national team at the expense of in-form players.
Kapini, who now plays for South African Absa Premiership newcomers Highlands FC, said he was saddened by what was happening in the national team, as the situation, if not nipped in the bud, would destroy Zimbabwean football.
Writing on his Facebook wall, Kapini said performance at club level was no longer used as the yardstick for national team selection, as one just needed to belong to Mahachi’s stable.
“Am just asking; is the Zimbabwe national team picked on performance or because Mahachi is your agent,” asked Kapini.
The goalkeeper reaffirmed his Facebook post in a telephone interview with Chronicle Sport and said nothing would stop him from exposing what he felt was the rot surrounding the Warriors’ selection, as doing so would be a huge disservice to the nation.
“Mahachi is killing our football. Players must and should be selected on present form, not because one belongs to a certain stable. If you check, one of the most consistent goalkeepers (in the Castle Lager Premiership) at the moment Petros Mhari (of FC Platinum) is continuously being overlooked simply because he does not belong to Mahachi’s stable. Surely can we compare Donovan Bernard and even Tatenda Mukuruva to Mhari? God help our football,” said Kapini.
He said he does not care what people will say as his conscience is clear.
“I have had my time in the national team; I know some people will maybe say I am jealous, hence my complaint, but I don’t care.
“What I know is that we need to speak up for talented youngsters who are constantly overlooked for national team duty simply because they don’t belong to this so called super stable. Ronald Chitiyo recently dumped his agent and joined Mahachi, and suddenly he is in the national team. Zimbabwe, open your eyes and smell the coffee; something is not right here,” Kapini said.
The Warriors’ Total Africa Cup of Nations final qualifier against Guinea had eight players from Mahachi’s stable in addition to coach Callisto Pasuwa.
The eight players are Mukuruva, Blessing Moyo, Tafadzwa Kutinyu, Lawrence Mhlanga, Evans Rusike, Godknows Murwira, Tendai Ndoro and Teenage Hadebe.
“We have a situation where some people are using the national team to market their players. We know these things because we talk to the players, but they can’t openly say it for fear of victimisation and naturally jeopardising their chances of ever playing for the Warriors, but some of us will not sit back and keep quiet,” Kapini said.
Efforts to reach Mahachi for a comment were unsuccessful as his phone rang unanswered for the better part of yesterday, while Pasuwa’s mobile phone was being answered by someone who claimed the Warriors’ gaffer had left it in his possession.