Harare businessman-cum sports administrator Farai Jere dropped a bombshell recently when he announced he was quitting CAPS United. The resignation raised a lot of questions that begged answers.
The Standard senior reporter Albert Marufu spent time with him last week and he files this report:
A piece of paper headlined DON’T QUIT lies on the office table of former CAPS United vice-president and operations director Farai Jere in Eastlea in Harare.
Ironically, Jere has just quit his position at CAPS United, citing frustration over the team’s poor results.
From time to time, Jere throws his eyes on the paper before answering questions during this interview.
Asked if he had changed the philosophy emblazoned on the sheet, Jere looks annoyed and glances at it, as if it’s not of any importance.
“Oh, this one, it was brought by a pastor from my rural area in Murehwa who does not want me to leave the club. I haven’t had time to read it,” says Jere, before looking at the CAPS United banner patched right in front of him.
Though portraying a brave face, Jere, whose eyes keep darting to the banner, is at pains to explain his decision to leave CAPS and football at large.
The decision has left the club’s future uncertain, with the team’s president Twine Phiri saying he can only comment after meeting the club’s board on Tuesday.
“I am not talking about that for now. Remember we have a board and it is only after that board meeting that I can comment,” said Phiri.
However, Jere seems to have made his mind up about leaving the club.
“The passion we have for this team is great, but maybe the method of getting the results is wrong,” says Jere.
“There is some secret at this club that I do not even know. Maybe I do not have the luck and it is time for someone who can bring the good luck to take over.
“In 2009 CAPS had eight players that won the Cosafa Cup for Zimbabwe but the team was fighting relegation. Remember we had players such as Method Mwanjali, Edmore Sibanda, Tafadzwa Rusike and Nyasha Mushekwi in that team,” Jere says.
CAPS are one of the clubs that enjoy administrative discipline in Zimbabwe, with an air of professionalism characterising the day- to-day running of the club.
But Jere battles to figure out why the club keeps losing when they have done well to provide a good working environment for the players.
“I have done everything for CAPS, but results have not been coming. The players are well-paid. They get US$500 as winning bonuses while players from other teams get US$150. CAPS is a big club and it has a club house. I am asking myself what we should do. I’m stuck,” says Jere.
His frustration is evident as he clearly fails to hide it.
“I am frustrated with the way the club has performed, but I also feel that I have played my part in local football.
Anyone interested in the 25% ownership stake that I have should come forward.”
Jere has always been known for refusing to yield to pressure from supporters.
“I do not believe in people trying to tell me how to run the club. I will do things my own way and if results are not coming I quit, as I have just done now. Other teams do not even have club houses but are getting results. If people want us to hold meetings in a team bus, then I am out of it.”
Jere however, does not rule out chances of him bouncing back into football administration.
“You cannot rule out anything, but to be honest with you, I have played my part. Many people are mistaken that I left CAPS because of the defeat to Dynamos, but that is not true. I made this decision a long time ago and wanted the players to focus on the Mbada Diamonds Cup. Once the team was booted out, I saw it fit to announce my resignation from the game. People ask why but I also ask why results are not coming.
“This was the right time because I need to give my partner Twine Phiri time to prepare for next season when the players are still around. I remain a CAPS United fan and will always attend its matches.”
Jere and Phiri’s relationship is reported to be strained and always characterised by plastic smiles in the face of the public.
Their rift widened late last year with Jere pushing for an increase in his shareholding to 50% from 25%, before he could pour more money into the club.
Jere claimed that he was owed about US$800 000 which he put into the club since 2006 and wanted it to be converted into shares, something that never materialised.
The businessman has been paying the club players from his Shipping Logistics Company’s payroll and the team also operated from his premises in Eastlea.
Is this withdrawal not another way for Jere to push for more shares at the club, only time will tell.