By Paul Mundandi in Zvishavane
The Footballers Union of Zimbabwe has blasted Shabanie Mine for neglecting the welfare of their players and urged the Premier Soccer League and Zifa to intervene.
FUZ secretary-general Paul Gundani and his president Desmond Maringwa visited the mining town and were not amused by the living conditions of the players as some are squatting at a disused clinic.
“The living conditions of the players are very pathetic. We had a visit yesterday and some of the players are living in a toilet and there is no difference with those who are in a police cell,” said Gundani.
“They are living in a disused clinic which still has its doors labelled ‘sister in charge’ etc. They are using bed sheets which were used by patients and the way their food is prepared is not hygienic.
“If the owners can no longer manage to run the affairs for the club the best thing is to give the team to local business people who are interested.
“The players are not receiving salaries since January, they are owed their bonuses and we are very concerned.”
Shabanie Mine players this week went on strike demanding their signing-on fees and winning bonuses.
Their coach John Phiri is still to pen a contract almost 10 games into the season.
Shabanie has some of the best facilities for players in the country but the mine’s football club premises are being leased to Midlands State University.
This has resulted in four players sharing a room.
“Most of the players are married and to be honest the wives can’t visit them. There is no privacy and I am still baffled how Zifa managed to license them.
“I have been trying to get hold of their secretary Shoko (Pithius) and he was not answering my calls. Professionalism is lacking at the club and it needs urgent attention.
“Players are professionals and must not be treated like convicts. My heart is bleeding at the moment with the situation at Shabanie and we are not going to keep quiet about it.”
Since the beginning of the season the executive is still to hold a meeting and most if not all the players do not know the structure of the leadership.
Samson “Sam Dread” Gondwe, an executive member, has been the one bailing out the club directly from his pockets. The Herald