Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

Akbay hurt by Mutuma departure

By Sikhumbuzo Moyo

Highlanders’ coach Erol Akbay has expressed his disappointment at the departure of lanky striker Rodrick Mutuma from the Bulawayo giants for Yadah Stars FC on Tuesday.

Rodrick Mutuma

The Dutch mentor however said while he was naturally saddened by the departure of Mutuma, he sympathised with him as he was clearly not settled due to money issues.

He said as a result of this challenge, Mutuma’s family was unable to join him in Bulawayo.

Related Articles
1 of 338

Mutuma signed a six-month contract with the Jairos Tapera-coached league debutants and was reportedly given $4 000 by the generous Prophet Walter Magaya as his signing on fees and promised a monthly salary of $1 000.

“I feel bad because he was a good player with good character. I am however happy that he has finally reunited with his wife because it was a difficult time for him here in Bulawayo while his wife was in Harare,” said Akbay.

He said although he could clearly see that the player was a troubled soul, which might have also affected his performance, he had hoped he could soldier on up to the end of the year.

“My honest hope was that he stayed with us up to the end of the year,” said Akbay, speaking from his native Netherlands.

He returns next Tuesday to prepare for the second half of the Premiership season.

In his absence, Highlanders have been undergoing training under the guidance of developmental side coach Melusi ‘Mabaleka’ Sibanda since assistant coach Amini Soma-Phiri and goalkeepers’ trainer Cosmas ‘Tsano’ Zulu are still on suspension.

The two coaches were suspended after the club leadership felt their personal clashes were adversely affecting the team.

A three-member disciplinary panel has since heard their case and a determination is expected anytime soon.

Sources said the duo was found guilty as charged and their fate now lies in the hands of the executive committee.

Meanwhile, Highlanders have refuted social media claims that they have already held talks with former Hwange coach Nation Dube to replace Soma-Phiri as Akbay’s assistant while club legend Peter ‘Captain Oxo’ Nkomo will assume the goalkeepers’ coaching role. The Chronicle