Dynamos’ seven million souls in anguish

31 Mar, 2024 - 00:03 0 Views
Dynamos’ seven million souls in anguish

The Sunday Mail

AS we were all beginning to enjoy our Easter holiday on Friday, Dynamos, a once dominant force in local football, were labouring to a one-nil stalemate with Walter Magaya’s Yadah Stars at the newly opened Rufaro Stadium.

The decent DeMbare fans who turned up for the match were expecting a massacre, especially on a sentimental day that marked their return to a venue they once made a fortress for decades.

But what our storytellers are not telling us is that Friday’s wretched performance, which, as has become the norm, lacked neither flair nor form, was the latest in a series of disappointing results.

On February 24, the now-glamourless Glamour Boys fell 0-2 to Ngezi Platinum Stars in the Castle Challenge Cup that was played at Baobab Stadium.

On March 10, their fans were agonising once again, as the team lost 2-1 to bitter rivals Highlanders at Barbourfields.

Six days later, they were at it again when they drew 2-2 with Hwange at the same venue.

But signs of trouble were already showing during the offseason.

In one of the biggest stories of the transfer season, they fumbled their bid to sign a clubless Khama Billiat.

The player only signed for the club in newspapers, but in reality, he opted for Yadah, where Magaya and his deep-pocketed friends opened the chequebook and literally rolled out the carpet for the former Warriors star.

Earlier, they had also made a farcical attempt to sign Obriel Chirinda from Bulawayo Chiefs.

Not surprisingly, it fell through, as they were outbid by Ngezi.

There is also the story of Kuda Mahachi, who snubbed Dynamos and joined Manica Diamonds.

In the old days, playing for DeMbare was a dream for every budding footballer.

Even switching from other clubs was a dream move for many.

Who can forget that shock move by Lovemore “MaGents” Ncube, who was then the Highlanders’ captain, and Lenny Gwata around 1997-1998 to the Harare giants?

It was a blockbuster and headline-grabbing switch.

It was, therefore, not unusual that players of opposing teams would actually be closet supporters of the once-swashbuckling side, which used to provide the core for the national football team, the Warriors.

And it showed on the football pitch.

The team used to steamroll past small sides, grind results against big opponents such as Highlanders and CAPS, but most importantly, it put on a show for the supporters.

As was the tradition, they somehow used to struggle against Hwange, which was their bogey side, at the Colliery.

All this made our local football enjoyable.

Things have since changed, and unfortunately, for the worse for their fans.

The problems seem to run deeper.

Aside from the ownership wrangles pitting Dynamos Football Club chairperson Bernard Marriot Lusengo and some former players, which have since spilled into the courts, the jettisoning of vice chairperson Vincent Chawonza for allegedly “failing to observe basic tenets of sports management and corporate governance” is quite telling.

Whoever uses the name Dynamos and corporate governance in the same sentence needs their head examined. The two are like water and oil.

Bra Shakes remembers a time when Dynamos got some good money when they sold Norman Maroto to FC Platinum — it must have been US$5 000 — but it simply vanished.

The Dynamos official concerned, who reportedly had stashed the money at his house, gave a tall tale about how the money could have possibly been spirited away by rats.

Yes, rats.

It was the classic dog-ate-my-homework tale.

As strange as this story might sound, it is actually true.

Sum total, problems run deeper at DeMbare.

This is sad for a side that once reached the final of the CAF Champions League.

One would have expected them to have professionalised their operations by now, in the same way ASEC Mimosas runs its affairs.

Buoyed by the windfall they got from the Champions League, the then-management of Lincoln Mutasa, Lloyd Hove, et al, tried to introduce player contracts, among other interventions that were meant to modernise the club, and they were later dumped for being too disruptive.

Dynamos is clearly on the decline; in fact, it has been on the decline for some time.

Without a serious rethink of how it is run, it might sadly be another Chegutu Pirates soon.

But as its star wanes, teams such as FC Platinum, Ngezi and Manica are rising and challenging for the big-boys tag.

Chaos, however, is not always accidental.

As is the case with the Harare City Council, chaotic management often results in shambolic bookkeeping, which creates the ideal conditions for looting for some.

For as long as Dynamos continues to be a haunt for football demons, its mythical seven million supporters will continue to be in anguish.

Until next time.

Peace!

Yours Sincerely,

Bra Shakes.

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