By Mukudzei Chingwere
A Harare businessman, Evans “Boss Kujie” Kujinga, has delivered on his promise to provide his impoverished hometown football club, Shabanie Mine, with a new playing kit. He has already handed them a donation of three match balls, 40 chickens and 300kgs of beef.
Kujinga, who is also a Dynamos fan, has always been supportive of his hometown football club and recently promised them he would secure a new kit for the league’s poorest side.
The Shabanie Mine FC leaders have been crying out for a helping hand just to enable them to meet the huge costs that come with bankrolling a community side that has no sponsor, but survives on the benevolence of well-wishers.
The club have a huge support base and is considered one of the most supported football teams in the country.
There have been fears the club could fail to complete the remainder of the Premiership campaign if they don’t get substantial funding in the coming weeks.
Kujinga, who grew up in Zvishavane before moving to Harare, answered his boyhood club’s desperate calls by getting a new kit for them.
“It’s again my small contribution to the boys to try and make them feel that their efforts are being appreciated by some people who love this team,’’ said Kujinga.
“As I said in the beginning, I cannot do it alone, I don’t have the financial resources to do that, but if we come together, those who care for this team, I think we can make a difference.
“I hope this new kit, which will be delivered to the boys before their next match, will inspire them to do even better on the field because we are in a very desperate situation and we need to start winning games.’’
The Shabanie Mine players are reportedly threatening not to fulfil tomorrow’s game against ZPC Kariba over unpaid salaries and allowances.
Coach Alexio Sigion is yet to be paid since taking over from Takesure Chiragwi in June and his players are also owed allowances.
“I do not want to talk about that, my job is technical not administrative, what I can only say is that the situation is not ideal but we are doing our best as coaches to motivate players going into matches.
“We have a tough game against ZPC Kariba and we need to start collecting points to be able to avoid relegation, we will work extra hard to get a positive result,” said Sigion.
Meanwhile, FC Platinum coach Norman Mapeza says his charges cannot afford to underrate anyone in the league as they look to consolidate their lead in the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League race with a win against Mutare City at Mandava tomorrow.
“If we are going on Saturday thinking that Mutare City are down there, I think we will be in trouble,’’ Mapeza said.
“We need to give them the respect they deserve, the respect we give to Dynamos, Highlanders, Ngezi is the same respect we need to give to Mutare City on Saturday.
“In their past games, they have been doing very well, Ndega (Matsika, interim coach) has done really well, second half of the season they have been very consistent.’’