By Robson Sharuko in HARARE and Eddie Chikamhi in LUANDA
WASHINGTON ARUBI’S proposed move to Super Diski side, Pretoria University, which appeared a done deal just a few days ago, is on the verge of collapsing in the event that he does not get cleared from the Asiagate saga by Wednesday next week.
The Dynamos goalkeeper was set to ink a two-year deal with AmaTuks, who won promotion into the Absa Premiership at the end of last season, but the deal could collapse after a dramatic change of events this week.
Arubi is in Angola today with his DeMbare teammates trying to edge Interclube, in a winner-take-all showdown in Luanda tomorrow, for a place in the final eight of the Caf Confederation Cup tournament.
The Zimbabwe international ‘keeper was meant to stay behind in Johannesburg on Monday, when the Glamour Boys return from their tour of duty, and proceed to Pretoria where he was scheduled to complete the formalities of signing for AmaTuks.
Striker Takesure Chinyama, though, is now set to complete his move to champions Orlando Pirates on Tuesday when a Buccaneers’ delegation, led by club legend Stanley “Screamer” Tshabalala, arrive in Harare for the signing ceremony.
While everything looks rosy for Chinyama, the opposite is true for Arubi. He was offered a signing-on fee, payable in equal tranches, over two years, a basic salary that would rise marginally in the second year and a bonus as per the club’s structures by AmaTuks.
Graham Oosthuis, the AmaTuks team manager, has been handling the negotiations for the club and sent the offer for Arubi, which was accepted by the player and his club, DeMbare.
Arubi’s manager, Kenny Mapeza, yesterday told The Herald that their discussions with Dynamos’ officials had been fruitful and it was now just a matter of time before the ‘keeper, voted the best player on the domestic scene last year, put pen to paper.
“We have been talking to Dynamos chairman, Kenny Mubaiwa, and the negotiations have been going on very well and I believe it’s just a question of time now because everything looks in order for Washie to move to South Africa,” said Mapeza.
“The arrangements that we wanted were for Washie to remain in Johannesburg, when the team returns, so that he can complete the deal.”
But yesterday Oosthuis wrote to Dynamos advising the Glamour Boys that they first wanted a commitment that Arubi wasn’t set to be banned, after being fingered in Asiagate, before they can complete the deal.
“I am sure Dynamos are aware of the much-publicised ‘Asiagate’ scandal,” wrote Oosthuis.
“This issue is only here to stay with us and we are only privy to the information contained in the media.
“Upon further assessment of the situation, and the possible impact of it on the club, we are compelled to complete our due diligence and satisfy ourselves that there is no risk.
“Please, could Dynamos FC provide us with some sort of official proof/verification that the player has not been implicated or that he has been cleared and that there is no chance of him receiving a ban for that matter.”
Interestingly, a number of Zimbabwean players, who are yet to be cleared in the Asiagate scandal, have made a number of cross-club moves within South Africa during the off-season.
DeMbare have been preparing for life after Arubi and, on Sunday, coach Callisto Pasuwa pulled him out, with about 15 minutes remaining, and the ‘keeper waved to all the four stands in a symbolic farewell to the fans who have helped him turn into a big star.
He received a standing ovation as he left the field. The Glamour Boys will be hoping that the latest setback will not affect Arubi when he stands in goals in the big match against Interclube tomorrow. DeMbare striker, Rodrick Mutuma, feels the Glamour Boys have a reputation to protect when they engage Interclube in a swim-or-sink showdown.
The match will kick off at 6pm Zimbabwean time at Interclube’s Junho 22 Stadium. The players simply have to win it for their coach Callisto Pasuwa and his technical team who have been sitting on a three-match ultimatum and could be shown the exit tomorrow if they fail to beat the Angolans.
DeMbare arrived in Angola in the evening following a day-long journey that took them through Johannesburg, South Africa and were welcomed by hot and humid weather conditions.
The team left early in the morning and had a five-hour stop-over in South Africa before connecting to their destination in the afternoon and arrived at around 6.30pm. They could not train yesterday. The Herald