AGE-OLD Dynamos ownership wrangles came back to haunt the country’s most successful football club after a rival faction made up of former players elected a new board to take over the running of the institution during an extra-ordinary meeting yesterday.
BY MUNYARADZI MADZOKERE
Amid allegations that the current DeMbare board led by Bernard Marriot-Lusengo is operating illegally, a faction of former players – most of whom are from the class of 1963-1968 led by Ernest Kamba – made the decision at Prince Edward School in Harare.
The 10-man board which immediately chose Kamba as interim chairman includes club legends Simon Sachiti, George Shaya, Gina Kapfunde, Willard Sarupinda, Joseph Tsuro, Sam Nkomondo, Peter Huni, David Phiri and Isdore Sagwete.
The new board is set to meet this week to elect the substantive office bearers.
“What we have done here today is legal. All of the people who are part of the new board are the shareholders by virtue of having played for Dynamos between 1963 and 1968,” Kamba told Standardsport.
“The meeting here today was just to say that Bernard Marriot-Lusengo is an illegal chair and we are the rightful owners of the club. This is the step we have taken so Marriot-Lusengo no longer leads the club.”
The takeover of the Harare giants by the Kamba-led group was a culmination of several meetings in which they invited Marriot-Lusengo to discuss the state of the club.
Ironically, this chaos at DeMbare coincided with the club having endured a trophy-less season in which it finished in an unfamiliar fifth position.
“From now onwards, the Marriott-Lusengo-led board no longer exists and we have taken over Dynamos going into the new season. Our immediate task is to see that we start correcting mistakes which have been happening. We want to see to it that there is no disharmony and if he [Marriot-Lusengo] continues to be a problem, we will find ways to strip him of all the powers that he thinks he has,” Kamba said.
The new Dynamos board says it wants to give back the club to all the players that played for the team and do away with the Justice Malaba judgement which awarded exclusive rights to the players who played for club from 1963-68.
The decision to elect a new board could throw DeMbare into turmoil, with Marriot-Lusengo refusing to recognise the rival faction. Last week, he reportedly declared yesterday’s meeting illegal.
However, the Kamba-led group claims that it possesses documents that prove that Marriot-Lusengo fraudulently ascended to power.
Conspicuous by his presence at yesterday’s meeting was former Harare City coach Moses Chunga, July Sharara, Ricky Isam, Angirayi Chapo as well as former Dynamos striker Makwinji-Soma-Phiri, represented the younger generation of former players.
Making his contribution during the meeting, tough-talking Chunga accused the older generation of players, including the those present at the meeting of causing the death of many clubs because of their reluctance to hand over the reins to the new generation.
“Clubs like Zimbabwe Saints and Arcadia United no longer exist because of your generation. Even a club as big as Highlanders is having problems because of the older generation of former players.
“I am just saddened by the state in which Dynamos is at the moment. It should be competing with the likes of Kaizer Chiefs. Some of us do not even want to be associated with a club like Dynamos,” he said.
The meeting got underway by dissolving the 2008 board which was led by George Shaya, the one they recognise, before they elected a new one to usher in a new era at Dynamos.
Other former players in attendance included Mike George, David George, Misheck Chidzambwa, Hannison Mbewe, to mention just a few.
Yesterday’s developments come after another former Dynamos player and administrator Uzziel Mankola recently called for the resignation of Marriot-Lusengo.
Mankola, who is one of the few surviving founder members of the club, claimed Marriot-Lusengo had hoodwinked stakeholders and converted the popular club into his own personal property against the provisions of the club’s constitution.