Hwange players request audience
By Sikhumbuzo Moyo
Disgruntled Hwange players have asked for an audience with club president and managing director of Hwange Colliery Company Thomas Makore following the shock sacking of head coach Nation Dube and his assistant Mebelo Njekwa.
The players said Dube and Njekwa were working under difficult conditions after more than 10 senior players deserted the club due to non-remuneration.
The players, who asked not to be named, said the departure of the senior players could have been avoided had Makore been told the truth about their concerns.
They said they were informed that Makore didn’t care because football wasn’t Hwange’s core business, but they never had an audience with him or heard this from the horse’s mouth.
“The trend of lying to the president seems to be continuing and as players we feel if he could just hear our case, maybe things could be better.
“We are not demanding that Nato (Dube) and Njekwa be reinstated, but all we want is for the truth to be known because we don’t believe that our president can be so insensitive as to utter such words. Football plays a big part in the community’s social life,” said one player.
Another player added: “The honest truth is that players are disgruntled and the only people who were trying to stand up for us were the coaches. I mean people agreed to sign for $500 as signing on fees after being convinced by our coaches that things might improve in the company.
“They constantly urged us not to append our signatures and believe me, we might be down there for now, but relegation was far, rising up was certain, especially now that the company also seems able to pay.”
Other sources with intimate details corroborated the players’ claims and blasted the club executive led by chairman Butholezwe Dube for what they described as an ill advised and possibly catastrophic decision to fire Dube and Njekwa, who had endured months of non-remuneration.
“We wonder whether these people expected miracles from both the technical team and players. After losing 13 first team players, it was obvious that the team would struggle, especially competing against well funded sides like the platinum sides, Black Rhinos, Chicken Inn, Triangle and traditional giants Highlanders, Caps United and Dynamos.
“Our players are constantly being made fun of by their opponents and that demoralises them, but to their credit, they are still with us. All these players are from Division One and Two clubs, while the senior players, who remained are well into their 30s,” said the source.
Hwange registered 22 players and only six have Premiership experience, while the rest came from the second and third tier leagues.
Some of the senior players that remained at Hwange with Premiership experience are Gerald Ndlovu (33), Obert Moyo (33), Gilbert Zulu (35), Craven Banda (32) and Andrew Chuma (35). The Chronicle