By Tadious Manyepo
The sight of a badly injured Black Rhinos top marksman Lot Chiunga being prayed on by Prophet Walter Magaya two days before Christmas last year was as touching as it was thought-provoking.
Exactly two weeks after suffering a double-fracture on his right leg, an injury so bad that he had lost hope of ever kicking a ball in his life again, the powerful forward decided to visit Prophet Magaya at his Waterfalls Church at a time his colleagues and counterparts were enjoying the festive season in different parts of the country after a long year on the field of play.
Chiunga collided with Mushowane left-back Sunny Savave as he tried to unleash a howitzer when the two teams played on December 9 last year in Murehwa as part of Mushowane’s celebrations after being promoted into the top-flight league.
To compound matters, the leg, which had the double fracture, is the same which also kept Chiunga on the sidelines in 2016 after it broke when the striker clashed with then Gunners goalkeeper Prosper Chigumba in a Northern Region Division One league game.
That made the 32-year-old think that the latest injury was a definite career-ender.
And at a time he was supposed to go for a medical check-up before the leg could be put into a plaster, Chiunga just thought of visiting the Prophetic Healing and Deliverance Ministries on December 23 last year.
So massive was his faith that he believed Prophet Magaya’s prayers would accelerate the healing process as the thought of seeing his career ended by an injury was unfathomable.
Incredibly, when he did visit the medical centre for the review after seeing Prophet Magaya, the news he was told by the specialists even shocked him.
“I wouldn’t get a plaster for the leg, instead I would be operated on and the healing would take place thereafter. That was the news which shocked me as it came from the doctors when I visited.
“In no time, the experts operated me on and said I needed no plaster for the leg,” said Chiunga.
The striker, who for the past two years has been the leading scorer at the army side, said he felt better and confident after meeting the famed prophet.
“Did I feel any better after Prophet Magaya prayed? Yes, it gave me confidence and belief that everything was going to be fine. I had literally lost all the hope of ever playing again but the prophet gave me hope. He told me that I would be a star again.
“He told me that the operation would go well and that’s what exactly happened. I was in excruciating pain before the op, but I am feeling far much better now.
“In fact, I will be undergoing physiotherapy in three weeks’ time. Unlike the first injury which kept me out for over five months, this one will heal faster and I was told that I will be ready by the time the 2019 season kicks off.”
Since visiting Prophet Magaya, Chiunga rekindled his hope of playing football up until he is 35 years.
“I believe I am already healed and I want to score as many goals as I can to help my club achieve its objectives next season. Honestly, when I learnt that I had suffered a double fracture on the same leg which had fractured hardly three years ago, I thought the end had come.
“I was hurt but then there I was, having to face reality and that’s when I decided to visit the prophet. I will play football competitively again and help Black Rhinos win silverware in 2019.”
Chiunga, who is a member of the Zimbabwe National Army, saluted his team for standing with him through thick and thin, singling out the club’s chairman, Shackman Terrence Chizengwe, for the support.
The former DStv Rangers and Douglas Warriors man formed a formidable partnership with Vincent Mhandu and Wellington Taderera as they steered “Chauya Chipembere” to seventh on the log.
He was also the team’s top-scorer with 11 goals.
Black Rhinos are busy in the transfer market and are understood to be chasing the signatures of experienced defenders Patson Jaure and Stephen Makatuka.
Jameson Mukombwe, who had been with FC Platinum, is also expected back.
The team hasn’t made their intentions for the coming season a secret.
They are out to fight for the honours and have since taken former Yadah coach Thomas Ruzive to assist Herbert Maruwa.
Said Maruwa: “We can’t be always in the league to make up the numbers. We will be out to win honours next season.”
But the soldiers will have to do it without their most valuable player Donald Mudadi who is linked with a move to Manica Diamonds.
Goalkeeper Ashley Reyners is also likely to depart while Allan Gahadzikwa hasn’t yet renewed his contract which lapsed on December 31. The Herald