By Godknows Matarutse
The Castle Lager Premiership mid-season window officially closed last night with several clubs beefing up their sides for the potentially intriguing second half of the campaign.
Current log leaders Ngezi Platinum Stars were not very active on the market as they just kept the core of their team that has sent them two points clear at the top of the table with 37 points after 19 matches while promoting some players from the juniors.
Title contenders FC Platinum, who currently sit second on the log table with 35 points, two behind Ngezi, made their intentions clear for this years’ championship when they beefed up their side by bringing in four new acquisitions.
The Zvishavane-based side signed experienced former Dynamos striker Takesure Chinyama, who left Polish side LZS Piotrowka, to add to their attacking talent while also resigning winger Ali Sadiki, who came in as a direct replacement for Talent Chawapiwa.
Chawapiwa left the club to join South Africa’s Absa Premiership side Baroka FC following his exploits at the recent Casafa Castle Cup where he led the Warriors to a record fifth title in the regional tournament after beating Zambia 3-1 in the final.
Norman Mapeza has also not lost hope in Chicken Inn defender Lawrence Mhlanga as he has added exciting young prospect Hamadzashe Moyo from Zifa Central Region Division One side Banket Mine in their pursuit for an elusive title.
Harare giants Dynamos, who have emerged as serious title challengers moved to tie down their star midfielder Denver Mukamba, whose contract had expired last month, while also roping in the services of forward Thembinkosi Sibanda and defender Godfrey Mukambi.
Mukambi came in as a direct replacement for Elisha Muroiwa, who moved to Tanzanian Premiership side Singida United together with midfielder Wisdom Mutasa.
DeMbare was also still running around to tie down some unnamed players last night.
The Glamour Boys have also promoted two of their junior players in Kudzai Dhemere and Tatenda Muringani who were on the bench when they beat Triangle 2-1 at the weekend.
Reigning champions CAPS United, who are faced with the prospect of losing several players to foreign clubs, was also by last night making frantic efforts to beef up their squad.
By the time of going to print John Zhuwawo and defender Stephen Makatuka were the only confirmed players to have joined the Green Machine during this transfer window.
Zhuwawo was on target when CAPS lost 3-2 to Harare City at the weekend while Makatuka could be in line to start in Makepekepe’s next league assignments if Hardlife Zvirekwi and Justice Jangano fail to recover in time.
CAPS United lost Dennis Dauda to Yadah while Ronald Pfumbidzai is still is South Africa where he is set to join Bloemfontein Celtic.
Forward Abbas Amidu has also secured a deal outside the country although his destination remains unclear as he is still weighing his options between Egypt and the United Arab Emirates.
The Green Machine have lost three of their last four league matches to sit third from bottom with 14 points although they have a number of matches in hand to catch up and are desperate to start picking up maximum points before it’s too late.
Bulawayo giants Highlanders’ title aspirations were handed a heavy blow after they lost two strikers in Roderick Mutuma, who returned to the capital to join Yadah and Prince Dube who was snapped by South African Absa Premiership side Supersport.
Despite losing their best players, sadly by last night there was still no news of new arrivals at Bosso to replace the departed duo.
Highlanders have not been convincing this season as they sit seventh on the log table with 31 points, six behind log leaders Ngezi Platinum Stars.
Yadah FC were the most beneficiaries of the just ended transfer window following the capture of Dauda and Mutuma.
Dauda and Mutuma have already been described by Yadah coach Jairos Tapera as the best thing to ever happen to the club so far as they seek to be competitive.
Yadah was also still pushing to get the clearance of want-away CAPS United goalkeeper Edmore Sibanda last night while they were also reportedly eyeing the Makepekepe duo of Moses Muchenje and Phineas Bamusi.
Bottom-placed Bantu Rovers were probably the biggest losers after they lost two of the best players in the current Castle Lager Premiership; top goalscorer Bukhosi Sibanda and striker Obrey Chirinda, who were snapped by South African National First Division One side Ubuntu Cape Town.
In their fight for survival, struggling Hwange have roped in former Harare City coach Bigboy Mawiwi, who wasted no time by bringing in five new players in Elvis Meleka, Nathan Ziwini, Crybert Muvuti, Chrispen Dickson and Delice Alfonce.
Mawiwi is aware of the difficult task that lies ahead after a 4-1 thumping at the hands of Ngezi Platinum Stars at the weekend.
Hwange currently sit fourth from bottom with 17 points after 18 rounds of action. Daily News