Diamond showdown


TALK OF Christian beliefs and juju has taken centre stage ahead of the Mbada Diamonds Cup derby final pitting Bulawayo giants Highlanders and Premier Soccer League newcomers How Mine at Barbourfields Stadium tomorrow.


Responding to questions at a Press conference yesterday at a local hotel, Highlanders head coach Kelvin Kaindu said he would not be reading much into a recent prediction by Bulawayo prophet Blessing Chiza that his side will win the $130 000 Mbada Diamonds Cup.

After Highlanders were drubbed 0-4 by Harare City in a league match a few weeks ago, prophet Chiza made a forecast that the Bulawayo giants would lift the Mbada Diamonds Cup, but Kaindu, a devout Christian himself, who has been seen at some games donning regalia inscribe with biblical verses, said he would not rely on prophecy.

“I am a Christian and a believer. I know what prophecy means. When a prophecy comes with regard to you, it just makes it difficult. We need to work hard and beat How Mine. You can’t just rely on the fact that something was prophesied,” Kaindu said.

His counterpart at How Mine, Philani “Beefy” Ncube — caught in the eye of the storm with the gold miners beating Caps United 4-2 in the semi-final in a penalty shoot-out when their dressing room was found with lit candles surrounding bottles with liquid in them during the match — made a bold statement yesterday and said he did not use juju.

“I don’t use juju,” Beefy said.

On Wednesday he was quoted on radio jokingly asserting that even Fifa president Sepp Blatter lit torches. He made reference to the Olympic Flame lit at the start of the international games.

Concerning the game, Highlanders skipper Innocent Mapuranga said they were well-prepared for the game and would be hoping to win the trophy after a long drought.

“We are taking this game very seriously because there is so much at stake. I think we are going to win this one, as we have been training very hard during the week. It has been long since we had a piece of silverware at our offices,” Mapuranga said.

Kaindu allayed fears on midfielder Mthulisi Maphosa and Simon Munawa who have been nursing injuries and said they were back at training with the rest of the squad.

He assured the club’s fans that Bosso would this time score against How Mine, a team that has beaten them twice in the league in the just-ended season.

“I don’t see us not scoring any goal in the final. Our approach to cup games has been different and you know how many goals we have scored in this tournament,” Kaindu added.

How Mine veteran defender Hebert Dick said should he win this one, he would retire from football.

“We have prepared well for this game. We have former Highlanders players at How Mine including myself who can make things happen and this might be the last final for me,” Dick said.