HIGHLANDERS are close to getting the clearance of Chiredzi FC winger Tapiwa Dephistara and have abandoned seeking the intervention of the Zifa player status committee, a club official has said.
Dephistara signed a two-year contract with Bosso last month, but has not kicked a ball for the Bulawayo giants after the deal hit a snag as it emerged that he had been cleared by executive members of Chiredzi FC who had been relieved of their duties.
The clearance was reversed by the Charles Muchatukwa-led executive committee, which sources said demanded that Highlanders pay $2 000 for the player for the new clearance, but the Bulawayo giants deposited $500 promising to pay the balance by end of October.
However, Muchatukwa said Dephistara would not be cleared as they had not agreed to the $500 deal, prompting Bosso chief executive officer Ndumiso Gumede to write to Chiredzi seeking a reimbursement to pursue other avenues, saying Highlanders had not erred in getting the first clearance.
Gumede yesterday referred questions to Highlanders vice-chairman Mgcini Mpofu who was said to be discussing with Chiredzi. Mpofu confirmed he held discussions with Muchatukwa yesterday morning and there was light at the end of the tunnel.
“They thought we were bullies, but now they have realised that they were going to lose the case and they are bending. We are finally going to tie the loose ends and then we get the clearance,” he said.
“Going to the player status committee would drag the case and it is cumbersome. We are saying let them benefit and let the boy play football.
“I was speaking to Muchatukwa a little while ago and it’s now almost a done deal.”
Muchatukwa, however, would not comment on the matter when contacted yesterday.
“I am not going to comment now,” he said.
Going the player status committee way would not have made sense for Highlanders in their bid to get Dephistara’s clearance.
For the Tavengwa Hara-chaired committee to sit and hear the case, they would have required Highlanders to deposit $2 000, which is the fee that Chiredzi had demanded from the Bulawayo giants.
However, earlier Gumede had said Highlanders would have gone to the player status committee as a matter of principle.
“It doesn’t matter. It’s a matter of principle. I had written to them to say they accept the deposit of $500 and we would pay the balance in October.
Haven’t you ever bought something on instalments? We want to deal as football people,” Gumede said then.
Three other Bosso mid-season acquisitions Pasca Manhanga, Kudzanai Machazane and Webster Chingodza have so far been fielded by coach Kelvin Kaindu.