DYNAMOS have initiated negotiations with possible candidates to replace suspended head coach Tonderai Ndiraya.
Ndiraya is unlikely to survive the storm at the Premiership football giants.
In fact, his suspension is designed to prepare the groundwork for the incoming new coach.
The Glamour Boys are understood to have gotten in touch with axed SuperSport United coach Kaitano Tembo as well as Ngezi Platinum Stars gaffer Benjani Mwaruwari.
But the latter is not yet prepared to leave his current job where he has shown great potential in his first professional term as a coach.
Besides, those two potential targets, Dynamos could settle for even a surprise choice.
Ndiraya was served with a suspension letter on Saturday following a lengthy “crisis” meeting by the executive earlier in the day.
Dynamos issued a statement informing stakeholders, including the media, of the development and clearly stated they wouldn’t be commenting any further.
The shocking move to which Dynamos refused to give any reasons has been questioned by the stakeholders whom they would not give further explanations pending “investigations”.
The Herald sought to dig deeper into the matter through a series of interviews with insiders, including players and some members of the executive.
Ndiraya stands accused of having lost the dressing room.
This follows a move by the players, who have engaged their representative board, the Footballers Union of Zimbabwe (FUZ), in their desperate bid to get their winning bonuses from the club.
The Glamour Boys have won nine games, drawn three and lost twice in the last 14 matches before their ill-fated match against Highlanders was abandoned with 10 minutes of added time still on the clock.
The players are supposed to get US$100 per each match won while half the amount is given for drawn games.
The bonuses are supposed to be paid in local currency at the prevailing official bank rate.
That means, the club owe the players about US$19 000 in winning bonuses since the start of the season.
That is excluding members of the technical team, of course.
Some senior players revealed that the only reason they were still putting in the work to continue winning games was because they had respect for Ndiraya.
“Honestly speaking, Dynamos have failed us. But we have a very good relationship with coach Ndiraya (Tonderai) and he always reassures us each time we want to embark on a strike.
“We have since taken the issue with FUZ while we continue to play for the coach. We actually put pressure on him to deliver our message to the executive to which he always says they are working on something.
“We wanted to down tools a day after the CAPS United players revolted some three weeks ago but Ndiraya talked to us in a good way and we decided to shelve the action. But certainly, we are going to stage a sit-in…” said one senior player.
His sentiments were corroborated by three others.
“The insistence by Ndiraya to tell the executive to pay the players winning bonuses at every turn has apparently irked the executive who have misinterpreted his actions as a sign of having lost control of the dressing room,” said another well-placed source in the team.
In fact, the Isaiah Mupfurutsa-led executive, The Herald has gathered, has been banking mostly on Ndiraya’s ability to stabilise the situation with the players until recently when the threat of a strike looked increasingly inevitable.
It is understood the suspension of Ndiraya would, in a way, buy some time for the executive as players would be fearing the axe will fall on them next.
The Herald can also reveal that Ndiraya has been working without a contract.
He was appointed in 2019 as a replacement to Lloyd “Mablanyo” Chigowe, who had presided over a false start to that season.
And in early 2020, Ndiraya was given a draft contract and got paid before the game was abruptly forced into a lengthy break due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Dynamos’ then principal sponsors, RG Tobacco, pulled out of the Glamour Boys early last year but handed over the team some money to continue paying salaries for the rest of the year.
Ndiraya continued pushing for a contract while the executive continued to duck around until current sponsors, Sakunda Holdings, came along in September 2021.
Still, Ndiraya’s hope of having a contract was never realised and it is understood his continued pestering for one irked the executive who took that for “disrespect” on the part of the gaffer.
The former midfielder has guided Dynamos to their best start to a Premiership season in more than seven years.
DeMbare are just a single point behind leaders Chicken Inn who have amassed 31 points after 15 rounds of fixtures.
Yet, there have been whispers Ndiraya’s charges are not playing “beautiful” football.
Dynamos, even during the era of Callisto Pasuwa, who won four league titles on the bounce between 2011 and 2014, have never blown away spectators with entertaining football. They are always grinders and Ndiraya has mastered that art, winning matches even without dominating territory.
The fans have been increasing by each passing game, attracted, of course, by the impressive results. But it is Ndiraya’s exclusion of certain players from his team that is understood to have also ailed the executive.
Players like Albert Eonde, Sylvester Appiah and Tinashe Makanda, who are said to be staying at Mupfurutsa’s house, (reports say they actually pay rent) have not featured consistently in the fold this season.
And Ndiraya has received calls from some members of the executive to explain the reasons. Although Ndiraya refused to pick his phone yesterday, he is understood to have kept records of such calls.
But these are players have failed to stamp authority even at the teams they have played for before joining Dynamos.
Appiah has played for ZPC Kariba before and he has to shrugg off competition from captain Partson Jaure and one of the best players on land, Frank Makarati, to start as one of the centre-backs in the team.
Eonde was with FC Platinum before where he hardly featured in a team, just like Dynamos now, that depend mostly on their midfielders for goals.
The Cameroonian recently grabbed the headlines after electing himself to take a penalty against Bulawayo City at the National Sports Stadium which he missed. Eonde is not the designated penalty taker for DeMbare.
Painfully for Dynamos, that match ended in a 1-1 draw and a handful of supporters out of about 3 000 fans who graced that match, who looked drunk, sang denigrating songs towards Ndiraya as the coach drove off after the match. Makanda was signed from Highlanders where he was never a big name player.
The Herald can also reveal Ndiraya has been a target for the sack since the start of this year.
The executive do not believe Ndiraya is the right man who can finally win the league title for Dynamos to end an eight-year wait for the honours.
Ndiraya was given a five-match ultimatum to collect at least 12 points after his charges lost 1-0 against Chicken Inn in February.
He won all the five games that followed before he was also given another five games to collect 12 points as well.
He won two and drew as many before the Bosso match which was abandoned with DeMbare trailing 1-0.
If that match is to be decided in the boardroom, it is likely that Highlanders would be declared the winners given the circumstances surrounding its cancelation.
The other issue is to do with Nigerian striker Alex Orotomal.
The big Nigerian was initially rejected by Ndiraya but insiders say he was “forced” to sign him by the executive which is now doubting his abilities in front of goal.