When the purported number one supporter of Saints, Dr Zobha made the announcement that Chauya Chikwata was bouncing back into top-flight league on Power FM recently, the studio phones continued buzzing with the fans phoning in.
Chauya Chikwata became “Chaenda Chikwata” in 2006 when they failed to withstand the heat in the Premiership under the guidance of Lindile Dube who took them to Division One.
Saints have been struggling to come back to the top-flight league until this year when their executive decided to buy Eagles’ premiership franchise that was up for grabs.
But what is interesting is that Chikwata had ended the season on a high note, chasing behind Southern Region Division One side Chicken Inn, who snatched the sole ticket to gain promotion into the league.
The return of Zimbabwe Saints is set to spice up the football landscape in Bulawayo and their rivalry with Bosso would also resume.
The last time that the Bulawayo fans watched the derby was on June 11 2006 when Highlanders trounced Zimbabwe Saints 3-1 with goals coming from Tapuwa Kapini, Vusa Nyoni and Ralph Matema. The reverse fixture saw Bosso collecting three more points from Chikwata with a 1-0 score line. Chikwata were then sent packing to Division One in their last league match against Lancashire Steel at Baghdad in Kwekwe.
The ingredient that should make the derby much more exciting is the fact that former Highlanders kingpin who used to trouble Saints, Willard Mashinkila Khumalo has since crossed the floor to join Zimbabwe Saints as head coach while Saints and Warriors legend Agent Sawu returns as his assistant.
There are a number of former Bosso players that are set to join Saints ahead of the 2011 soccer season that include Anzlom Ndlovu. In return Bosso have also signed Simon Munawa from Chikwata.
Speaking to Standardsport, two supporters from different sides agreed that indeed an old rivalry has been ignited.
“We have been waiting for this chance to bounce back in the league again, but this time we are not here to add numbers but we really mean serious business,” Terence Mandaza of Kuwadzana said. “With the rate at which Bosso is playing, we will soon grab all the supporters watching the derby, you will see it for yourself.”
But Butholezwe Nkomazana said Bosso would reign supreme in Bulawayo as always.
“We are the Bulawayo giants no doubt about that, we are happy these guys are back; at least it brings the number of PSL teams in Bulawayo to three after the promotion of Chicken Inn who know nothing about the great rivalry,” Nkomazana said.
The club was demoted two times in 2004 and 2006. In 2007 a new executive led by seasoned administrator Elliot Manduna, was elected into office. Since then the club have been on a rebuilding exercise.
Bosso, the first team to be formed in Bulawayo commanded the best chunk of supporters ahead of their rivals who had their club house in Queens Park East.
Bosso was formed in 1926 while Chikwata was formed later in 1931 out of several teams which had their origins from Shona-speaking areas but based in Bulawayo. The name Mashonaland United FC was adopted up until 1975. It then changed its name to Zimbabwe Saints Football Club. Among some of its early players were the late Vice-President of Zimbabwe and the patron of Zifa, Joseph Msika.