Tadious Manyepo in BAFOUSSAM, Cameroon
WARRIORS star Jordan Zemura will today endure a five-hour road trip from Yaounde to Bafoussam, Cameroon, where he will join the rest of the squad.
The 22-year-old missed Zimbabwe’s opening African Cup of Nations game against Senegal on Monday due to a Covid-19 outbreak at his English Championship football club AFC Bournemouth last week.
He was caught in that web and had been in isolation for the past seven days.
There had been hopes he would fly to Cameroon in time for the opener against the Lions of Teranga but that couldn’t happen.
The talented left-back, who is also effective in midfield, tested negative on Monday and left England yesterday morning.
He was scheduled to arrive in Cameroon last night but unfortunately all flights from Yaounde to Bafoussam were fully booked.
That means the England-born star will have to endure a daunting five-hour road trip to the city located in the Western Province of Cameroon.
The Zimbabwe authorities yesterday dispatched a car which will pick up him at the Yaounde International Airport this morning.
Warriors manager, Wellington Mpandare, revealed Zemura would travel all the way by road.
“We are happy, we have received a major boost for the squad. Jordan Zemura is on his way after he tested negative to Covid-19 on Monday,” said Mpandare.
“He has already left Manchester for Cameroon. We are expecting him to arrive
in Yaounde tonight (last night).
“We have been making frantic efforts to get him a flight from there but unfortunately we couldn’t find any.
“That means we must resort to alternative plans. So we have since dispatched a car that will pick him up from Yaounde.
“The car has already left and they will take him from the airport, let him rest before they start the journey which is about five hours in the morning.”
Yaounde and Bafoussam are separated by close to 300 kilometres.
Zemura has proven to be a vital cog in the team who can help the Norman Mapeza-coached side reach the knock-out stages at the tournament.
He has picked just four caps with the national team but his potential has been worth noting.
In all the games he has played for the Warriors, Zemura has been deployed on the left-side of midfield.
On Monday, Mapeza started the hard-working Bruce Kangwa with Onismor Bhasera behind him.
Kangwa showed a lot of nerves in the initial stages and made a number of mistakes which could have seen the Warriors trailing in the opening stages.
But, in a clear show of mental strength, Kangwa raised his game and once he got into the groove, he never showed any signs of slowing down.
So powerful were his runs he caused some anxious moments for the Senegal defence which was being marshalled by veterans Bouna Sarr and Pape Cisse.
And the coming in of Zemura will certainly give Mapeza the freedom to deploy some of his preferred structures in the match against Malawi on Friday.
Meanwhile, Mpandare has revealed the players on standby could join in this week as well.
Youngsters Bill Antonio and Panashe Mutimbanyoka as well as Temptation Chiwunga were placed on standby when Mapeza selected his final 23-man squad for the finals.
The trio is now expected to join the squad anytime soon, according to Mpandare.