HIGHLANDERS were set to conclude a deal yesterday to sign Botswana-based be Mobile league striker Master Masitara on a frantic day for clubs after Zifa indicated a sudden change of dates in the transfer window.
The window was initially due to close today, but was moved by a day back to yesterday due to the harmonised elections.
Masitara confirmed to media in Botswana at the weekend that he was heading back home to play for Bosso while another striker also based in Botswana, Tinashe Chipunza, has reportedly been training with the Bulawayo giants during the Premier Soccer League break following an invitation by head coach Kelvin Kaindu, who is away in Zambia.
“I have joined Highlanders. It is obviously an exciting move for me and I hope to score goals for them. It’s the reason they have hired me,” Masitara told media in Botswana at the weekend.
Highlanders secretary Andrew Tapela was yesterday busy at the club’s offices finalising the list of their mid-season transfer window acquisitions.
A woman at the office said Tapela had left the office just after lunch and his mobile phone was not reachable, despite him having promised to get back to Southern Eye Sport with the final list of the players.
Sources said strikers Graham Ncube and Njabulo “Tshiki” Ncube were likely to face the axe with Bosso retaining Beaven Chikaka, Knox Mutizwa and the young Ozias Zibande. City neighbours Chicken Inn would also be loaning a player to Highlanders.
Masitara, the 2005 Soccer Star of the Year finalist with Railstars, moved to Nico United in 2006 where he grabbed the Golden Boot Award with 18 goals in his maiden season.
He increased his tally to 28 goals the following season to take the top goalscorer honours again before he went to Mozambique where he joined Liga Muçulmana.
Masitara started his career in Chiredzi for Mkwasine before attracting the attention of Railstars in 2005 when he was voted Soccer Star of the Year finalist, although the railwayman were demoted to Division One the following year despite banging in 16 goals.
From Mozambique, Masitara went back to Botswana where he rejoined Nico.
Chipunza played for Motor Action before joining Miscellaneous in Botswana where he made his name as a prolific scorer.
The two reunited with former be Mobile League dreadlocked midfielder Hillary Madzivanyika who played for Botswana Meat Commission before joining Highlanders at the start of the season.
Bosso is hoping that the two and the youthful Gabriel Nyoni, recalled from Division One outfit Bulawayo Chiefs in a Cleopas “Balotelli” Dube swop, would sharpen the blunt strikeforce.
Meanwhile, ambitious Premiership outfit Chicken Inn have settled for Clement Matawu, Dylan Chivandire and defender Charles Mutero while striker Mkhokheli Dube, who was on trials at Absa Premiership returnées Mpumalanga Black Aces, is expected back home today.
By late yesterday, Chicken Inn were also still finalising their list.
The GameCox could lose Premiership leading scorer Tendai Ndoro to Bidvest Wits and nimble footed Kudakwashe Mahachi to SuperSport.
The two are in South Africa for trials.