Paul Mundandi in ZVISHAVANE
ZIMBABWE and Zambian football legends have slammed Julius Chakapewa of ICA Sports, labelling him a bogus promoter, and asked ZIFA and the police to investigate him after he dumped them here on Friday evening.
The legends claim the actions of Chakapewa and ICA Sports have brought Zimbabwe football into disrepute and ZIFA should sanction him.
A number of former Zambian men and women footballers travelled to this town for a match against their Zimbabwean counterparts at Mandava last Friday.
But the players, who had been promised appearance fees ranging from $150 to $200, were not paid leading to a fracas.
Mufulira Wanderers vice-treasurer Boyd Musunga, who travelled with the Zambian contingent, said he started to sense that things were not in order on Thursday.
“On Thursday morning I could tell the situation was very bad after our team was told to vacate the rooms as he had not paid their money,” Musunga said.
“The previous day we had spent an hour stranded in town (Harare).
“He even took us to some street where he bought food from vendors and my players refused to eat it. We asked him to give us money to go back but he said everything was going to be fine.
“When we travelled to Zvishavane he told us that his partners, Platinum, owned mines and were very rich.
“We, however, learnt he was lying that they were his partners when we reached here.
“He promised to cater for everything but then shifted goalposts and dumped us. We are very grateful to Platinum for their assistance after they came to take care of us.
“I feel that Julius should be investigated by the police as well as the football association.”
FC Platinum had to come to the rescue of the three Zambian teams, refuelling their three buses, paying for the tollgates and giving them food.
Former Zimbabwe international Stewart Murisa, said they were ill-treated by the promoter.
“I am very disappointed. I am a football person who decided to come and play in Zvishavane. The treatment we got does not reflect that we are legends,” said Murisa, one of the leading lights in the CAPS side that won the league championship in 1996, who is now coaching the team’s juniors.
Hebert Dick also lashed out at the promoter.
“We are stranded here in Zvishavane and the same thing happened in Kadoma. It is very disheartening and very discouraging,” he said.
“We have images to protect and some people must not take advantage of us. The event was badly organised and I did not even know this Julius.
“We did not use a proper kit when the Zambians were wearing their national kit.
“I feel we were used by Julius to gain mileage. I think he used us as condoms that can be thrown anyway and I hope that will not happen again in the future.
“We are former national team players and we should be accorded the respect we deserve.”
Chakupewa said matters degenerated out of control.
“It was an unfortunate episode because the planning went wrong and I wish things had gone right. Our coffers ran dry and I still feel I did my best.
“I heard FC Platinum finally helped the Zimbabweans and the Zambians to get back home by offering fuel and money.
“I messed up the relationship between the Zambian and the Zimbabwean football associations. I will offer a public apology to everyone sometime this week.” The Zimbabwean team featured the likes of Murisa, Dick, Norman Mapeza, Ronald Sibanda, Douglas Mloyi, Murape Murape, Shepherd Muradzikwa, Albert Mabika, Nkosana Gumbo, Dazzy Kapenya, George Nechironga, Ishmael Meki and Luke Masomere.
Benedict Moyo was the coach and Gibson Homela the team manager.