Eddie Chikamhi Senior Sports Reporter
DYNAMOS legend Memory Mucherahowa has made sensational claims that some Highlanders fans are jealousy of the Glamour Boys’ status as the most successful football club in the country and this usually drives them to become violent when the two giants clash at Barbourfields.In his autobiography titled “Soul of the Seven Million Dreams,” the former Glamour Boys captain, who is now based in the United Kingdom, said the clashes go beyond the normal football rivalry.
He claimed there has always been strong suspicion across the board at Bosso that the success of their biggest rivals over the decades has been aided by the special treatment they receive from the match officials and football authorities.
Last week, a high-profile match featuring the giants at Barbourfields was abandoned after 42 minutes because of crowd trouble after some Bosso thugs stormed the pitch protesting Cameroonian Joel Epoupa Christian’s equaliser, which they felt was scored from an offside position.
The scenes dovetailed with Mucherahowa’s account in which he also accused their traditional rivals of having an inferiority complex.
According to Chapter 17 of the book, which has been subtitled “Highlanders and the culture of violence”, Mucherahowa claimed that Highlanders supporters always resorted to violence to vent out their frustrations and had turned Barbourfields into a dreaded venue.
“When it came to matches against Highlanders, it was more than just a game. The fixture usually sent chills down the spines of players and supporters alike because of the violence involved . . .
“We knew that a match against Highlanders was more than just a game. On the pitch, it will be fireworks as much as it will be in the terraces and outside the stadium.
“. . . However, for as long as I can remember, matches that were played in Bulawayo that ended in a Dynamos victory have always ended in violence with our fans being attacked by hooligans dressed in Highlanders regalia.
“The hatred was just too much. As long as Dynamos were in Bulawayo even to play another team that is not Highlanders, they had to be attacked,” wrote Mucherahowa.
The former DeMbare skipper also insinuated the violence was not tribal, but pure jealousy and hatred for the success that Dynamos had achieved on the field of the play to become the most decorated team in Zimbabwe.
He spoke about the friendships that existed among the players, particularly his close relationship with Titus Majola, who always went out of his way with his hospitality whenever DeMbare were in Bulawayo.
“But why would Highlanders fans behave like this? It is my humble opinion that the team suffers from (an) inferiority complex,” Mucherahowa wrote.
“It is only after Makwinji Soma-Phiri joined Dynamos from Highlanders in 1995 that we got to have an explanation of why there is so much hatred of Dynamos in the Highlanders camp.
“Soma-Phiri came to Dynamos with the mentality that it will be easy to win trophies because the club gets preferential treatment from the league administrators and referees.
“It was when he realised that this was far from the truth that he told us that this was the general feeling at Highlanders FC from administrators to the players, cascading down to the fans.
“Maybe this explained their anger. They thought our royal seat at the crest of footballing in Zimbabwe was thanks to some divine right given us by administrators and referees.”
Meanwhile, Highlanders acting chairman Modern Ngwenya has dissociated his club from scores of thugs who have been poisoning social media platforms with toxic messages in the wake of the abandoned match on Sunday.
Ngwenya and his chief executive Nhlanhla Dube played a leading role at Barbourfields on Sunday, trying to cool down tempers among scores of hooligans who wanted assistant referee Thomas Kusosa to be removed, following the disputed goal.
The Highlanders officials’ gallant efforts to stop those hooligans from ensuring that the match would be abandoned ultimately failed to achieve the desired results after the referee called off the game as the environment was no longer safe for the match officials, players and the fans.
Even Bosso’s Dutch coach Elroy Akbay tried without success to plead with those fans to let the match continue while his players, led by skipper Rahman Kutsanzira, also called for sanity to prevail.
Now, in the wake of that match’s abandonment, some social media thugs have been flooding different platforms saying that Bosso — who have been called for a hearing at the PSL — have no time for those who are in charge of domestic football.
But Ngwenya said that wasn’t the case.
“We respect and uphold statutes of ZIFA and the PSL,’’ he said. “As the oldest and one of the biggest teams in the league we have always endeavoured to be a role model by having proper decorum and propriety in any conflict resolution. We do not condone or approve of any denigration of our two bodies, ZIFA and PSL, by anyone either in the press or cyberspace.
“We will remain true advocates of unity, professionalism and good cooperate governance in all our dealings as an institution that upholds good code of ethics.
“We don’t doubt the expertise or aptitude of the ZIFA and PSL leadership that are handling our abandoned match issue. We are following due process and await a balanced and fair judgment from the Disciplinary committee.’’
Ngwenya said those who were dealing with the case should be accorded all the respect they deserve instead of rushing to criticise them when they haven’t come up with any decision yet.