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The man who holds Dynamos down



WEDNESDAY, July 27. The news came. We had seen it coming.


The circus at Dynamos had long ceased to be funny, and Richar

d Chiminya had seen the light to deal with the cankerous problem that has been afflicting Zimbabwe’s most successful football club – we thought.


But we could have been naïve to presume a morsel of sanity had returned to Dynamos the day the club’s board of trustees announced the Morrison Sifelani-led executive had been shown the door.


Not that we saw new chairman George Shaya and his executive as messiahs at the troubled Harare side, but it must have been a relief to the millions who religiously follow Dynamos that the man who seemed determined to bring the club down had been shuttled out of sight.


Sifelani earned a bit of our respect when he had seemed to accept his fate. He behaved like a man with football – if not Dynamos – at heart.


At a time we wished Sifelani would better expend his energy at his farm – if he benefited from the land reform – just 41 days later, he was back in the news.


Sifelani announced his own new executive to run the affairs of Dynamos this week, doing so courtesy of the powers “vested” in him as chief executive of Dynamos Football Club (Pvt) Ltd.


Confusion is back! We wonder who really is in charge now, thanks to Sekuru Sifelani.


At first sight, Sifelani would strike you as an elderly, wrinkled, and unkempt man struggling to come to grips with the harrowing urban life after years holed up at a remote farm.


Talking to him, Sifelani would appeal to you as a man who has dedicated his life to football – preaching in fluent English passionately about his imaginations a propos reviving Dynamos into a force to reckon with again.

But nine months into the year have been enough to prove that the rather sly Sifelani has not at all dedicated his life to football, but instead strangely behaves as if Dynamos owe him a living.


It’s not anything but just absurdity that borders on stray narcissism when one man behaves as if he was anointed by the football deity to hold the reins at Dynamos eternally.


The man who would have the whole world believe that he and he alone has the divine sanction to call the shots at Dynamos could slowly be becoming the club’s number one enemy in so few a months after someone regrettably plucked him from sporting Siberia back into mainstream football administration.


It’s strange that Sifelani now wants the whole world to believe the Dynamos board of trustees has no mandate to dissolve and appoint a new executive at the club when it’s the same board that catapulted him back to the helm of the club.


It’s weird that Sifelani now wants whoever cares to listen to believe that the Dynamos FC (Pvt) Ltd that he did not see as necessary before his ignominious departure from the club in March 1998 is now his trump card as he battles for relevance.


How convenient!


Sifelani should be ashamed of himself. He is just greedy and should have no place in football.


We won’t even talk about how he plunged into bankruptcy, but we don’t remember any word on him being rehabilitated to assume again high office as chairman or chief executive of any company – let alone Dynamos who need level-headed people to pluck the club out of the muck.


Whatever anyone might choose to believe in, we know the bad omen that is threatening to bring down the institution. It’s Morrison Sifelani, period.


Dynamos are reeling at the basement of the premiership log, thanks to Sifelani. His awful management is the reason the team has been performing so terribly on the field.


The current crop of players at Dynamos is as good as at any premiership club if not better, but any playing formula or the strongest of juju won’t work in such chaos.


The players are hungry and angry. The club can’t pay signing-on fees, and the team’s losing streak means there are no bonuses as well.


Dynamos don’t deserve this. The fans don’t deserve this. The media don’t deserve this. The Premier Soccer League doesn’t deserve this. Neither do the Zimbabwe Football Association and the whole sporting fraternity.


Dynamos had over the decades evolved into the embodiment of Zimbabwe’s domestic football, the face of quality soccer on the local scene.


The curse of Dynamos has been their community-owned status when not even anyone in Mbare benefits from the oldest suburb’s association with the club. This whole hullabaloo over who should call the shots at the club will never end until all the protagonists see wisdom in putting football first.


The same Dynamos FC (Pvt) Ltd that Sifelani now wants to abuse for egoistic agendas was not a bad idea at its conception. Dynamos seemed to be on the right track when Lloyd Hove and company sought to list the club as a company on the local bourse just before the turn of the millennium.


However, the usual suspects – greed, selfishness and empty heads – combined to scuttle that noble idea. We have witnessed resistance to move towards the commercialisation of the club because the protagonists would be more worried about who would line his pockets fatter.


Simply playing football does not bring any returns, while gate-takings won’t even be enough to make Dynamos as successful a brand as history suggests.


It would be refreshing to see Dynamos successfully commercialise on the strength of its remarkable history. Why not have Dynamos bottle stores, butcheries, salons or commuter omnibuses to start with?


With the popularity the club enjoys, anyone would want to be associated with such a brand. We can also talk of merchandise such as jerseys and other paraphernalia in the club’s colours.


This idea of going to the corporate world with begging bowls has got to stop forthwith. Instead, the big companies should literally beg to be associated with Dynamos.


However, that just doesn’t happen with the kick of a ball.


Dynamos ought to be run professionally, with clear structures in place. Every cent at the club has to be accounted for, while audited books have to be available at the end of each financial year.


The Morrison Sifelanis, Philip Mugadzas, Richard Chiminyas, Bernard Marriotts et al should forthwith shelve their selfish agendas and save the club that means so much in the history of Zimbabwe football.

dmajonga@yahoo.com

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