SOCIAL media has been abuzz with mock 2019 fixtures for struggling football giants Dynamos where they are pitted against teams such as Chegutu Pirates, Bindura United, Karoi United, One Commando and other real and imaginary teams.
BY MUNYARADZI MADZOKERE
In the midst of the banter is the painful reality that the country’s most successful football team is in real danger of relegation from the top-flight league this season.
From four consecutive league titles to relegation candidates in a space of four years, what could have gone horribly wrong at Dynamos?
Could it have been the decision to let coach Kallisto Pasuwa go after winning his fourth straight championship with the club at the end of the 2014 season?
Or maybe it’s because the club has lost a lot of key players in the past four years as a result of financial struggles and has had to rebuild with each passing season?
Perhaps, crucially, the team is in the wrong hands?
“Dynamos are in a coma right now and the problems have nothing to do with the coaches and players. The people leading Dynamos should admit failure and invite former players so that a solution can be found,” an ex-player, who opted for anonymity for fear of victimisation, told The Sports Hub.
“How many Dynamos legends go to watch the team play? Even the fans are fed up and they are no longer going to the stadium. It’s because they want board chairman Bernard Marriot-Lusengo gone because he has failed the club,” he added.
The club’s ownership structure has been a cause of constant controversy at Dynamos with a group of former players led by Ernest Kamba unsuccessfully trying a boardroom coup in December 2016.
Known as the class of 1963-1968, the group elected a 10-man interim board which supposedly replaced the one led by MarriotLusengo.
The board, which had Kamba as interim chairman, included club legends Simon Sachiti, George Shaya, Gina Kapfunde, Willard Sarupinda, Joseph Tsuro, Sam Nkomondo, Peter Huni, David Phiri and Isdore Sagwete.
Nothing has been heard of that board ever since and efforts to get a comment from Kamba were fruitless.
Interestingly, when Dynamos struggled at the start of the season, the fans demanded the then president Keni Mubaiwa and Marriot-Lusengo’s ouster.
Marriot-Lusengo decided to sacrifice Mubaiwa, who had presided over Dynamos since 2011.
Mubaiwa had been blamed for Dynamos’ current struggles although the club enjoyed success during the early part of his reign.
“Right now, I don’t want anything to do with Dynamos so if I comment on what’s going on, or what went wrong at the club, it would appear as if I am still interested in being part of this institution. It may also cause [an] unnecessary war,” Mubaiwa retorted when this publication contacted him for a comment.
Mubaiwa recently filed a $247 000 lawsuit against his former team over a debt the club allegedly owes him.
It was in the latter part of Mubaiwa’s reign that Dynamos struggled to compete for the title.
Since he decided that Dynamos would not compete in the CAF Champions League in 2014 and allowed Pasuwa to leave the club, things went on a downward spiral.
David Mandigora, Tonderai Ndiraya, Paulo Jorge Silva, Lloyd Mutasa, Biggie Zuze, now Lloyd Chigowe and Murape Murape have coached Dynamos with little success.
Dynamos have continued to lose top players to financially stable teams season in and season out and many argue that the majority of the current players are below the club’s standards.
Former player and coach Moses Chunga was more worried about the team’s relegation woes than the causes of the very challenges.
“The objective at Dynamos right now is to survive relegation and it’s better to talk about that now. We are in a fix and currently the problem is the human resources to rescue the team from relegation,” he said in a veiled attack on the club’s current players.
Chunga, who has in the past been critical of the club’s leadership, said he offered his services to help rescue the club from relegation, but his offer was snubbed — a move he believes would come back to haunt his former paymasters.
Chunga expressed his willingness to help the club when they first dismissed Mutasa in May and says he remains available after the Harare giants yet again fired Mutasa less than two months after he had been reinstated.
“I have offered to help them and it’s up to them to consider my offer before it’s too late,” he said.
“I know there is a lot of politics going on, but it’s no time for pride and ego. When Dynamos struggles like this, Zimbabwean football suffers and at the moment even rivals like Caps United and Highlanders are worried for us,” he added.
As things stand, the record Zimbabwean champions, who are in the drop zone in 15th position on the log with a paltry 31 points, have six matches to survive relegation.
While in 2015 they were able to survive on the last day of the season, it remains to be seen if they will pull off another great escape this season.