AFTER assisting the Zimbabwe Football Association with a US$3 000 loan that helped the senior team fulfil an Africa Cup of Nations qualifier away to Zambia last November, 10 months down the line, the country’s football mother body is yet to reimburse Talen Vision Football Club sponsors, Trukumb Mining.
Prior to that fixture that saw poster boy Khama Billiat and skipper Knowledge Musona combine twice as Zimbabwe beat Zambia 2-1 at the National Heroes Stadium in Lusaka, Zifa were compelled to move around with a begging bowl seeking funds that would meet some of the expenses related to the match.
Pressing for better allowances, the Warriors players had reportedly threatened not to fulfil the tie.
It was then that Trukumb Mining, the bankrollers of Zifa Southern Region Division One side Talen Vision decided to get involved in the national cause.
According to papers that were gleaned by this publication, Zifa, through their general secretary Joseph Mamutse, undertook in writing to pay back the US$3 000 to Trukumb Mining as soon as the national association received funds from Fifa.
Mamutse signed for the cash, which was given to him in United States dollars on 18 November 2019.
Zifa president Felton Kamambo a few months ago boasted that they had paid most of their debts but it turns out that they are still to settle what they owe Trukumb Mining, despite having received funds from Fifa.
Talen Vision have also dismissed claims by social media blogger Hope Chizuzu that they donated US$10 000 to Zifa, with the club stating that the only money given to the national association was for the Zambia trip, which their sponsors lent the football mother body and was meant to be paid back.
Chizuzu claimed Talen Vision donated US$10 000 to Zifa, with the money supposedly given to the association’s board member, Bryton Malandule.
The club’s general manager who doubles up as spokesperson Juma Phiri said: “People must learn to separate Talen Vision and Trukumb Mining. Talen Vision has no money. As a club, we are proudly sponsored by Trukumb Mining and at the moment we are ailing. We are in dire state with no single cent in our coffers. Even our bank statements can show that. We don’t have US$10k lying around to donate to Zifa or anyone for that matter. Just like any other Zimbabwean football club, we are struggling financially and only survive on the goodwill of our sponsors Trukumb Mining who we are extremely grateful to.”
Zifa board member in charge of finance, Philemon Machana said while he could not remember the particular figures involved between them and Talen Vision benefactors, their accounts department would move swiftly and settle the debt.
“That’s a purely administrative issue. As such, I cannot say the loan was paid back or not. I may not remember the figures involved but our accounts department will certainly attend to that. We have since changed from the Zifa of yesteryear. We have been very much keen on settling our debts,” said Machana.
He added: “How can you talk about US$3 000? Zifa is sitting on US$1 million which we are saving for future national team assignments, for Covid-19 testing kits and other things. We will sit on that money and make sure it is used for its intended purposes. However, I’m not saying we have excess money. When it comes to the national team, everyone is a stakeholder. We will not shy away from getting help from people and stakeholders such as Trukumb Mining, Talen Vision or Premier Soccer League who have always shown the will to save the game from embarrassment. But Zifa is now very stable, our balance sheet can even point to that. It’s cool here.”
In September last year, Zifa requested from the Talen Vision sponsors financial assistance before the Warriors travelled to Somalia for a World Cup qualifier. They were, however, informed that their request had come late and never got the assistance but were promised that in future they could be assisted. It was for this reason that Zifa requested for financial support before the Warriors went to Zambia in November and were advanced US$3 000, an amount they are still to settle.
During the same month last year, the Talen Vision sponsors managed to secure the bus owned by one Thembelihle Moyo which was used by their team to ferry national men’s Under-23 players ahead of their Africa Cup of Nations match against South Africa at Barbourfields Stadium.
Zifa did not pay for hiring the bus which was also fuelled by the Talen Vision sponsors for all the days it was used by the Under-23s.
We also have it on good authority that on 2 October 2019, Mamutse wrote a letter to Trukumb Mining finance manager, Mthokozisi Langa to express his gratitude for the bus they arranged for the Young Warriors.