Zifa Central Region Division One side Gwanda Ramblers’ future remains uncertain after they were expelled from the league last month over unpaid affiliation fees and failing to pay match officials.
Ramblers had returned to the league at the beginning of the season after folding up in the 1990s and had brought joy to the Gwanda football fans only to be ejected last month following the Central Region’s mid-season emergency meeting.
Club secretary Bekezela Fuzwayo Maduma yesterday said they had made frantic efforts to return to the league with a sponsor offering to come to their rescue, but had faced resistance from the league’s executive committee.
“We have made concerted efforts to return to the league and a sponsor has provided money to pay the affiliation fees, but with no hope. We have been working on it, but we are facing resistance from Zifa,” Maduma said.
Zifa Central Region secretary Stanley Chapeta yesterday said Ramblers had been given ample time to pay their debt, but had not shown any ability to pay the outstanding affiliation fees since the beginning of the season.
“Out of the $2 900, they have only paid $300 and have failed to pay match officials. I don’t have some of the figures off hand, but it was the decision of the mid-year emergency meeting that expelled them. Personally, there is nothing I can do unless the matter is referred back to assembly.
They are not the only club that owe, but some clubs have shown some commitment,” Chapeta said. It is understood a leading funeral assurance company had undertaken to pay the team’s debt in an effort to tap into the vast market in the Matabeleland South capital via football.
The club has been home to former Highlanders treasurer and former player Jerry Sibanda, Hwange head coach Nation Dube and Chicken Inn and Warriors assistant coach Mkhuphali “Mr Cooper” Masuku.
Another club Vumbachikwe has also been facing expulsion for failing to pay their affiliation fees.