The Sunday News
Fungai Muderere , Senior Sports Reporter
FOR all the swagger and opulence they display on social media, one would be mistaken to believe that all is well in the Bulawayo Chiefs camp.
Amakhosi Amahle, with 69 500 followers on Twitter where they are the only Zimbabwean football club with a verified account on the “Champions League” of social media captivate their audience by posting pictures of their changing room packed with energy drinks and fruits every match day.
Amid all that gloating, it appears all is not well in the Chiefs’ kraal after all.
Days after their head coach Nilton Terroso walked out in a huff from their training session in the build-up to their Chibuku Super Cup quarter-final tie against Highlanders which they, however, went on to win 1-0 to book a semi-final berth in the knockout tournament, players staged a two-day strike at their Luveve Stadium training ground ahead of Week 29 fixture against Whawha at Ascot Stadium yesterday.
Disgruntled player sources from the Twitter Kings camp confirmed engaging in an industrial action since they are owed two months salaries with some yet to get their signing-on fees.
“It has been hard for us. We struggled to get our July and August salaries and I think we have been patient enough hence this industrial action. However, this was not the first time we did that. The situation has been forcing us to abandon training numerous times,” said one of the senior players at the ambitious side.
Also speaking on condition of anonymity, another player told Sunday News Sport that they have since written to Football Union of Zimbabwe (Fuz) asking the union to help them get the “Premier Soccer League to withhold our prize money for the Chibuku Cup and the league position so that we can share that money among us as players what we would be owed by the club since the club promised to cover all our dues in October and November.”
Fuz secretary-general, Thomas Sweswe acknowledged that they received the letter from the Chiefs players two weeks ago.
“Yes, it’s true. We received such a letter with the information that Bulawayo Chiefs players had not gotten their July and August salaries. Maringwa (Desmond) was then forced to travel to Bulawayo and engage Chiefs players and officials with the help of our vice-president Herbert Dick,” said Sweswe.
The former Highlanders, Dynamos and Kaizer Chiefs steely defender added: “It was a frank talk and I think Chiefs managed the players’ July dues in bits and pieces.
But the players also raised an issue of the fact that they are thinking of not fulfilling some of the games. Maringwa and Dick were open to the club that it needs to come up with a payment plan.
Remember, there are statutes that guide us because a player can always terminate his or her contract after not getting his two months’ salary or a bonus that is equivalent to that.
I can confirm that some of the players are owed their signing on fees that are pegged in United States dollars.”
The former Warriors defence stalwart also challenged their members (players) and clubs to fully consider meeting their ends of the bargain.
Efforts to secure an official comment from Amakhosi Amahle were not successful as their media officer, Thulani “Javas” Sibanda promised that he will comment after the match against Whawha but never did.
However, Chiefs won 2-0 over bottom of the log placed Whawha at Ascot Stadium yesterday, with their goals scored by Obriel Chirinda and Perfect Chikwende.
It was the eighth goal of the season for Chirinda and for Chikwende, it was the third time that he had found the target in the league. – Follow on Twitter @FungaiMuderere