Ricky Zililo Sports Reporter
DYNAMOS yesterday completed the capture of Highlanders’ attacking midfielder Masimba Mambare on a three-year contract.
Mambare, booed by a section of the Highlanders fans towards the end of their Premier League campaign last season, had publicly pledged his loyalty to the club.
And after scoring in their Mbada Diamonds Cup final triumph, the player was offered a new deal by Highlanders which – according to club chairman Peter Dube – he had promised to sign when he returns from the African Nations Championship (Chan) tournament next month.
But the Bulawayo club felt betrayed last night after Dynamos confirmed that Mambare – whose contract with Highlanders expired on December 31 – had used his time with the national team camp in Harare to seal his move.
Confronted with the news, Dube said: “That’s a surprise. He promised to put pen to paper after the Chan tournament in South Africa.
“If he has indeed joined Dynamos, we wish him the best with his career and we are grateful for his contribution to the club.”
An ecstatic Dynamos secretary Webster Chikengezha said they had already forwarded Mambare’s name as a late registrant for their Caf Champions League campaign.
“Masimba Mambare is now a Dynamos player and we’re happy that we managed to agree on terms last week when he was on New Year’s break,” he told Chronicle.
“The good thing about this deal is that Mambare is joining us on a three-year contract and it’s our hope that he will have a fruitful stay at the club. The monetary terms of the contract are confidential.
“He becomes our 26th player on the list that we have submitted to Caf for the Champions League. We couldn’t risk exhausting a slot for the Champions League before agreeing on terms and now we have had to pay $500 late registration fee for him.”
He said Dynamos are now looking for a striker to add to their Caf Champions League list. Sources said Dynamos lured the 2012 Soccer Star of the Year first runner-up with a $15,000 signing-on fee – representing $5,000 per season.
A source close to the player said: “Dynamos offered him a better deal compared to what was on the table from Highlanders.
“He wanted to stay because he had a good relationship with the coach Kelvin Kaindu, but the pressure that the fans put him under was unbearable.”
The 27-year-old joined Highlanders in April 2012 from Motor Action. In that season, he was the first runner-up in the Castle Lager Soccer Star of the Year to Denver Mukamba, then of Dynamos.
His last game for Bosso was on November 30 when he silenced the boo boys with a goal and a fine all-round display as Highlanders hammered How Mine 3-0 to lift the Mbada Diamonds Cup.
Mambare becomes the fifth off-season signing for Dynamos who beefed their squad with former Caps United and Ajax Cape Town’s Tafadzwa Rusike, holding midfielder Walter Mukanga (Triangle), defender Themba Ndlovu (Buffaloes) and Ronald Chitiyo who was relegated with Monomotapa last season.