DeMbare president slams violent fans
By Eddie Chikamhi
The Dynamos board of directors have branded the fans who went on a rampage at Rufaro on Sunday, stoning the team bus and secretary-general Webster Chikengezha’s car, as “mercenaries’, who have no place at the Glamour Boys.
The Glamour Boys’ leadership also threw their weight behind beleaguered club president Kenny Mubaiwa who was the target of abusive songs from the fans who called for him to step down from his post as the leader of the country’s biggest football club.
Mubaiwa, the first Dynamos leader to win four straight league titles, was not at Rufaro on Sunday, the second week he has missed his club’s game, after he missed the Harare Derby against CAPS United at the same venue.
The club’s supreme leadership was forced to convene a board meeting following the latest episode of violence which resulted in damage to properties estimated to be worth over $10 000.
DeMbare board chairman Bernard Marriot-Lusengo yesterday questioned the motive of the violence and came short of accusing a third force that was trying to destabilise the Glamour Boys’ camp.
The club’s bus had its windows shattered when the supporters indiscriminately rained stones and objects from outside the stadium at the end of the match while Chikengezha’s vehicle was smashed as he tried to leave the ground.
Three Dynamos marshals were reported injured after a group of boisterous fans engaged in running battles with the police and the club’s security baying for the blood of the team’s leadership and protesting the sacking of expatriate coach Paulo Jorge Silva.
Marriot said the incident was regrettable.
“One thing for sure is that we don’t condone violence. We are very saddened by what happened on Sunday and we don’t want to see a repeat of that,” said Marriot.
“Obviously, as the club’s leadership we sympathise with our supporters. We know they are not used to losing games, but we are asking them to be patient. We beg them to air their concerns peacefully.
“Violent protests cause damage to property and also there is a possibility of losing life like what happened to the match between Zimbabwe and South Africa at the National Sports Stadium where 13 people died due to a stampede.
“With such behaviour from those unruly elements, the club ends up incurring heavy fines. We are also aware that there are certain supporters who say that Dynamos has no owner hence they incite violence.
“But, to put the record straight, Dynamos FC belongs to its founder members who played for the club from 1963 to 1968.
“We have our constitution and those members constitute a board of directors of Dynamos Football Club Private Limited, which owns Dynamos Football Club.
“Bear with us our supporters, the club is going through a bad spell and it happens the world over. Things will be fine. Just continue supporting your club.”
Dynamos have had one of their worst starts in years after finding themselves sitting second from the bottom of the log standings with five points in six starts.
The former champions struggled for results under Silva, who was fired last week and replaced by his assistant Lloyd Mutasa following a run of two defeats, two draws and a solitary win.
Mutasa was given five games to steer the team out of trouble while the technical department is being sorted out, but it appears there are some supporters who doubt his capacity.
The board yesterday resolved that they will not bow down to pressure and will give the executive led by Mubaiwa their full support.
They also stressed that Mutasa will continue to work as the interim coach despite the protests.
“We are trying our level best to bring back our club to winning ways. You cannot solve a crisis by causing another crisis. That (the poor start by the team) has not happened in a long time, but don’t forget that we almost got relegated in 2005.
“What saved us was that we were united during that bad patch.
“But now Mutasa has only been there three days and after one game in charge people start throwing stones. What for? It’s surprising that they even refused to acknowledge the team after the match and chose to give a standing ovation to the opponents.
“This has never happened at the club and you wonder if those behind this were genuine Dynamos supporters.
“We have faith in our executive led by Kenny Mubaiwa, we are fully behind them. I believe those guys are doing their best to get the team to the top.
“We have won titles under their management and I believe they still have those leadership skills. It’s only that the team is experiencing a bad phase and it needs us to be united at this moment.
“But now it looks like some people are being paid to destabilise the ship. To me what those hooligans did does not make sense at all because it only brought damage and divisions and no solutions,” said Marriot. DeMbare are likely to draw heavy sanctions from the Premier League for the behaviour of their supporters.
PSL communications and media liaison officer Kudzai Bare yesterday said they were still waiting for reports from the police and the match officials to determine which course of action to take.
Mubaiwa urged the police to use video and picture evidence to bring the culprits to book. “The police must use the videos and pictures that were captured on the scene to make arrests. These hooligans must be brought to book so that we don’t have a repeat of the same in the future,” said Mubaiwa.
“These are the same things which cost us several thousand dollars in fines in previous seasons.
“As the leadership we are doing our best. But when we get our cars stoned and people hurling all sorts of abuses then we end up confused as to the real motive.
“These are the same people who were calling for the dismissal of Silva and now we put an interim person in charge, while we sort things out, they then become violent. So what do they want?
“Let’s stop this hooliganism. We are a big club with structures, we should be orderly. If we continue in this path then we are in danger of destroying all that we have spent several years building.
“Real DeMbare supporters don’t behave this way because they know the club’s financial situation. They will not engage in things that cause unnecessary strain on the club’s coffers.
“They have their structures and they communicate through those structures. It’s highly possible there is a force behind all this, people are being paid to cause trouble.
“Chikengezha’s car was damaged and the team bus had its windows shattered as well. We have done preliminary quotations and the costs to repair the bus’ windows are running between $10 000 and $12 000. Those windows can only be found in South Africa where the bus was manufactured.”
DeMbare have also roped in former players Murape Murape and Clayton Munemo to assist Mutasa who remains confident of turning things around.
“I think we are lacking fire power and we are coming thin in the attacking third and it’s something that we have always said is our problem area and we really need to work hard on it,” said Mutasa.
“With a little bit of time we will be able to come to the party soon. It wasn’t a case of probably FC Platinum dominating through and through, but the difference was that goal.
“The game plan was to make sure FC Platinum do not to play their normal game, which is passing from the back, of which I thought we restricted them here and there.” The Herald