SHABANIE MINE is in a spirited push for an imminent return to the Castle Lager Premier Soccer this season as they are now in advanced stages of negotiations with the Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services (ZPCS) for the franchise of Whawha Football Club.
The asbestos miners were relegated from the top-flight league last season, but seem not to be intent on competing in the unfashionable Division 1 league.
The former’s parent funders ZPCS also bankroll fellow league newcomers Flame Lily. And the franchise of Whawha has been subject to speculation with Shabanie reportedly having been invited for negotiations over the possibility of getting the ticket to participate in the country’s signature league.
Despite spirited denials from Shabanie Mine hierarchy that they are not after the Whawha franchise, sister paper NewsDay Sport is reliably informed by well placed sources that a deal is imminent after a series of meetings between the two sides.
“I am not aware of that (meetings between Shabanie Mine executive member and Whawha). We are preparing for life in Division One and nothing has changed so far since we were relegated last season.
“But if we are notified that there is a franchise from the premier league we will sit down as the executive to decide if we can go for it because we have confidence that we can compete in the premiership,” Pithias Shoko Shabanie Mine, secretary-general, said.
Whawha chairperson Musa Ntonga also denied that their franchise is up for grabs.
“It is football propaganda. People are just speculating that we will sell our franchise but it is not true at all. We are at an advanced stage of our preparations and there is no going back,” Ntonga said.