Benjaman Taguma Mazarire
...as club struggles to pay players
Masvingo Pirates FC are seeking to reconcile with their former main benefactor, Zanu PF politician and businessman Benjaman Taguma Mazarire, with the club currently struggling to pay players their salaries.
Sources claim that the players had expected to get money from Mazarire who had committed himself to paying their winning bonuses and salaries for the whole of the 2018 season.
Some players who spoke to TellZim News on condition of anonymity said they were failing to make ends meet and would not be able pay their children's school fees this coming term unless there are drastic changes.
"We were told at the beginning of the season that Mazarire was going to pay our salaries but now he has deserted the club. We are struggling to pay rentals and school fees since we are fulltime footballers," said a player.
Contacted for comment, Masvingo Pirates team manager, Isaac Chapura said he could not comment on the issue and referred all questions to club Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Phillip Shumba.
"The way we operate at our club is different from other clubs, I think Mr Shumba can answer that one because I am not fully aware of the contractual obligations of the players," said Chapura.
When contacted for comment, Shumba said the players had not been paid their salaries since Mazarire pulled out some few weeks ago.
"As we all know that the economic environment is not very conducive, we have been having problems paying salaries. The executive has, however, tried to give them their weekly bonuses and we are working tirelessly to make sure our players get their salaries in full," said Shumba.
Contacted for comment, Pirates spokesperson Godfrey Mtimba confirmed the matter saying the club was failing to meet some contractual obligations since the departure of key stakeholders especially Mazarire.
"I can confirm that we are having some challenges with regards to meeting our contractual obligations with players; issues like salaries and allowances for their upkeep. We have experienced some challenges since the departure of some of our executive members and the patron who were playing a critical role in ensuring that the club was financed," said Mtimba
He also expressed optimism concerning the club's re engagement with their ex-patron who also hinted last week that he might come back to bankroll a football team which he however refused to disclose.
"We are optimistic that the patron will make a comeback soon, as he has a strong passion for the beautiful game of football and we applaud him for that," said Mtimba.
Mazarire pulled out of Masvingo Pirates after a controversial political incident when some fans used an MDC Alliance-branded vehicle to travel to Mpandawana for one of the team's matches.
The car belonged to the team's lawyer, Collen Maboke who was the opposition alliance's council candidate for Masvingo Urban Ward 2.
Mazarire was then contesting for the Masvingo Urban parliamentary seat on a Zanu PF ticket; a race he has since lost to the MDC Alliance's candidate, Jacob Nyokanhete.sport