BY SPORTS REPORTER
United Kingdom-based former Dynamos captain Memory Mucherahowa has made a scathing attack on the club for its current player-buying spree which he says is a consequence of the death of the club’s junior policy tradition.
Dynamos, who struggled to a ninth-place finish in the league last year, have been on an aggressive player recruitment drive which has seen the club bring in at least 11 new players in a bid to restore the glory day at the Harare giants.
The man, popularly known as Mwendamberi, who led Dynamos to the 1998 African Champions League final, castigated the Glamour Boys for abandoning the junior policy which was the heartbeat of the club from Independence until the early 2000s.
Mucherahowa also blamed political interference for the sorry state in which the club finds itself in.
“It is a good thing that Dynamos is strengthening the team. I hope they will do well. My only worry is whether these players will cope with the demands of such a big institution,” the 50-year-old former captain said from his UK base.
“Dynamos used to rely on its junior policy and the youngsters would play in curtain raisers. By the time they graduated into the senior team, they would be aware of the demands of the team’s supporters.
“The fans knew their youngsters. They would form the core of the team with only one or two additions and not more than seven players,” he said.
Dynamos have so far signed 11 players, including Patson Jaure, Tanaka Chidhobha, Nkosi Mhlanga and Lennox Mutsetse early on in the transfer window.
The club also added Byron Madzokere, Tymon Mvula, Jeansmith Mutudza, David Temwanjira, Barnabas Mushunje, Tinotenda Chiunye and, lately, Sylvester K Appiah to the 2020 squad.
Coach Tonderai Ndiraya is looking to build a team that will compete for the Premier Soccer League title which the club last won six years ago.
However, Dynamos have made significant strides in trying to make sure that they revive junior football at the club as they now have a developmental side playing Division Two football.
“We had the generation of Kuda Muchemeyi, Shaw Handriade, Edward Katsvere, David Mandigora, then Clayton Munemo’s generation. We also had my generation followed by Simon Chuma’s and then Chamu Musanhu’s generation. We carried the Dynamos culture and got used to the fans’ demands before we graduated into the senior team,” Mucherahowa said.
The 1994 Soccer Star of the Year also brought a political dimension into his argument fingering the ruling party, Zanu PF, for the club’s demise.
“All this is now a thing of the past because of political interference from Zanu PF. Zanu PF only thinks of Dynamos when it comes to the Independence Cup, Anti-Sanctions Cup and the Heroes Cup. They are not worried about junior football development,” Mwendamberi claimed.
“Now the team’s patron is Webster Shamu. All this is because they want to control the team. They know the power the team has and [they] abuse it. We had opposition officials such as Alois Masepe, Raymond Majongwe and Morgan Femai, but they were chased away by Zanu PF officials for their political beliefs.
“In 2001 on the eve of the 21st Independence Day Trophy, I spent hours with the party’s officials, Mavis Gumbo and George Charamba, trying to convince me to declare my allegiance to the party in front of the fans at Rufaro Stadium. I refused.
“Until Zanu PF is gone, Dynamos will continue struggling. Politicians should stay away from this team. In 2001, I was almost killed in Shamva by the party’s youths because of my political beliefs.”
Mucherahowa, who relocated to the UK soon after his retirement in 2001, is no stranger to controversy after he opened a can of worms with his autobiography which was published in 2017.
The book lifted the lid on several controversial issues such as the widespread use of juju at the Harare giants, drug abuse among footballers of his time and the contentious issue of the club’s ownership structure.