TRUDGING through the usually grumpy British weather each morning, former Dynamos kingpin Memory “Gwenzi” Mucherahowa (pictured) looks like any other person content with his present environment.
FROM ALBERT MARUFU IN LONDON, ENGLAND
However, racing through the mind of the 1994 Soccer Star of the Year are the goings-on-back home at Dynamos, a club he joined as a 15-year old in 1983, before graduating into the senior team in 1986.
News that Dynamos – the club he captained to three (1994, 1995 and 1997) of their 21 championships, and a many knock out tournament — will not be participating in next year’s African Champions League and will be partying ways with four-time championship winning coach Kallisto Pasuwa angers the 46-year-old.
“There are some poor decisions that have been made in the past at Dynamos, but failure to register for next year’s CAF Champions League and letting Pasuwa go rank among the worst. I blame the current chairman (Keni Mubaiwa) for lacking direction,” said Mucherahowa who captained Dynamos for eight years from 1993.
He added; “I think he was hoping that Dynamos would not win the championship. My message to Keni Mubaiwa (pictured) is simple. Just leave Dynamos. Why should they wait last minute to source funds for participation in that competition? It’s like a parent whose child is writing Grade Seven examinations, but fails to prepare for the child’s secondary education.”
“Pasuwa should remain as Dynamos coach basing on the results. If it’s about the CAF Champions League performance where the team has performed badly, even our generation reached the CAF Champions League final in 1998 after trying and failing on a number of times. I had played in that competition since 1987,” said Mucherahohwa.
Describing as chaotic the current situation at Dynamos, Mucherahowa who captained Dynamos to a CAF Champions League silver medal in 1998 said his experience makes him the best to be the club’s chairman one day.
“As former players we have watched for a long time while the club is being led by wrong people. I played for Dynamos for 15 years and captained the team for eight years. I have a vision for this club and Zimbabwean football at large and would one day like to be the club’s chairman. If George Shaya who is also a former player became chairman, why can’t I?” he said.
“We need football brains. The same should also happen at Zifa where we need former players. Former France player Michel Platini is doing wonders at UEFA. The same with Kalusha Bwayla in Zambia. What football record do we know about Cuthbert Dube besides his money?”
Mucherahowa bore the brunt of the confusion that normally reign supreme in the Dynamos boardroom in 1995 when his intended move to Argentina was bungled.
“It’s sad that the system keeps failing players at Dynamos. In 1995 I was supposed to join Ferro Carril Oeste of Argentina, but the club opted out because of the confusion at Dynamos that time. Every time Ferror Carril Oeste called Dynamos, they spoke to a different person who demanded cash upfront before a clearance letter could be issued.
They got frustrated and opted out of the deal.
I had stayed at the club for six months while waiting for the clearance letter which never came,” he said.
Thus Mucherahowa, packed his bags and headed back home having been denied the chance to play alongside South Africa’s Doctor Khumalo who was on the team’s books.
“I am not disappointed because that was God’s plan for me. I played for just a season in Belgium for a team called Jet in 1991. I was impressed by the level of professionalism,” he said.
Now trying his hand in music promotion which saw Thomas Mapfumo touring the United Kingdom in 2011, Mucherahowa fondly remembers his first dance with DeMbare’s first team in 1986.
“My first game was against a legends team called George Shaya 11 at Gwanzura Stadium. I came in as a replacement for the injured Moses Chunga after 15 minutes. It was after Chunga left for Belgium in 1987 that I started commanding a first team jersey,” he said.
Through injury, Mucherahowa could not be a regular member of the famous Dream Team side, but was not disappointed at all.
“I just thank God who gave me the opportunity to play for so long. If I complain, how about those who got injured without having realised their full potential?” he said.
Mucherahowa, also had a word of advice on how administrators should handle players reaching their retirement as in the case of Dynamos captain Murape Murape and Innocent Mapuranga of Highlanders.
“Sports personalities have families to feed and all they know is football. Administrators should sit down with them to discuss their future.
“As in the case of Murape Murape, the current executive should sit down with him and discuss his future role in the team. They should not just ignore him.
Unfortunately in Zimbabwe they ignore you. It is sad that we do not ignore our political heroes but we completely forget the football heroes,” said Mucherahowa.
After hanging up his boots in 2001, he relocated to the UK the following year.
He speaks of his love for Chimurenga music as well as how he ended up promoting Thomas Mapfumo’s tour to United Kingdom in 2011.
“I am not into music promotion full time. I only help people who are in this business. I only promoted one Thomas Mapfumo show in 2011 and that was largely because of my closeness to the Chimurenga music guru,” he said.