Robson Sharuko Senior Sports Editor
DENNIS DAUDA’S surprise recall into the Warriors’ squad has cast some light on his club Lusaka Dynamos – a franchise whose systematic abuse of players dragged Zambian football to the brink of an expulsion from all competitions under the auspices of FIFA.
Former Dynamos captain Ocean Mushure, who was the vice-captain of the free-scoring Warriors who powered to COSAFA Cup glory two years ago, is also at Lusaka Dynamos.
The Zambian Super Division side also have a third Zimbabwean, Zimiseleni Moyo, on their books.
Dauda and Mushure joined Lusaka Dynamos in December last year while Moyo, who has spent more time in the Zambian top-flight league, arrived this year.
While Dauda has been given a kiss of life, to revive his international career by being drafted into the provisional Warriors side for the COSAFA Cup and AFCON finals, Mushure has not been considered for the two tournaments.
Dauda left the Green Machine, after a difficult season in which he fell out with the club’s leaders as he protested he was not being paid what was due to him, while Mushure also dumped the Glamour Boys after falling out with the club’s leadership over unpaid dues.
Their Zambian club, Lusaka Dynamos, have in the past few months been battling a wave of lawsuits from players, including a considerable number of foreigners, who claim they were promised heaven by the club’s owners, to lure them to sign, only for the management to fail to honour their promises.
And, one case, in particular, highlights the challenges facing those contracted by Lusaka Dynamos.
A nasty fallout between the club and Ghanaian player, Abdul Latif Mohammed, ended with the footballer petitioning FIFA demanding his unpaid dues.
The world football controlling body then ended up threatening the Football Association of Zambia with being barred from fielding teams in tournaments under FIFA’s control if their directive for the sanctions which should be meted out on Lusaka Dynamos were not complied with.
The FIFA disciplinary committee demanded that the club be docked three points for failing to pay the Ghanaian.
“Consequently, we request your association to immediately implement the aforementioned decision and provide our services with the proof of the points’ deduction; in particular the standings of the relevant division on which it can be seen that three points have been deducted from the first team of the club,” FIFA said in their directive to FAZ.
“Please let me remind you that in case your association fails to do so, the FIFA Disciplinary Committee may pronounce an appropriate sanction against the Football Association of Zambia which can lead to the expulsion from FIFA competitions.”
That threat came on April 23.
FAZ complied with the directive, three days later.
‘‘Following a directive by FIFA, the Football Association of Zambia has docked three points from Lusaka Dynamos after the club was found guilty of failure to honour employment obligations towards Ghanaian player Abdul Latif Mohammed,’’ FAZ secretary-general, Adrian Kashala, said in a statement.
‘‘FAZ has warned Zambian clubs engaging foreign players to ensure that they meet their obligations toward the players.’’
Now, there are reports some of the players at Lusaka Dynamos have not been paid for four months.
And, the case involving the Ghanaian player, isn’t an isolated one.
In April last year, former Lusaka Dynamos player, Nseumo Dongue George Isis, took Lusaka Dynamos to the High Court in the Zambian capital demanding payment of K200 000 (about US$15 000) for termination of his employment.
He also claimed Lusaka Dynamos failed to pay him for eight months, in what was a blatant violation of his contract, before their union was abruptly cancelled by the club and, since his dismissal, repeated demands for a settlement had been ignored by the team.
In August last year, former Zambia international winger, Fwayo Tembo, took to Facebook to reveal he left the club because he didn’t believe in having bosses who boast about their financial muscles but fail to pay the footballers under their stable their dues.
Fwayo, who was accused by the club of not training for three months, but hit back saying he couldn’t train when he was failing to pay his rentals because his employers were not seeing the value of paying the players who were in their stable.
“People have kids, what are they going to eat?” Fwayo said in his Facebook response to the club’s bosses who had accused him of not reporting for training.
In October last year, another player, striker Conlyde Luchanga, dumped Lusaka Dynamos after claiming the club had failed to honour their contractual obligations while Ugandan defender Joseph Ochaya and striker Chris Mugalu also ditched the team.
Luchange, who won the CAF Under-20 Championships with Zambia two years ago, withdrew his petition against Lusaka Dynamos, which he had filed with FAZ, in January this year and returned to training with the team after management cleared his dues.
Mugalu also returned to the club.
In November last year, midfielder Reuben Chansa also dumped Lusaka Dynamos because he was unhappy that the club had failed to pay him for six months.
However, it was the case of two Ugandan players – Yakubu Ramathan and Mugabi Yasin – which captured a lot of attention across the continent when it was revealed they had remained trapped in Lusaka, unable to fly home for the off-season break, because they had no travel documents.
The club said one of the passports had been lost when they relocated offices and they were searching for the other.
The two players claimed they had not been paid salaries for eight months, amounting to US$18 000, while both had not received their US$30 000 signing-on fee.
“We have been asking them to clear our documents since last month but they are just taking us in circles,’’ Ramathan told the Zambian media.
‘‘We have been held hostage here. We want to go home and be with our families.’’