HIGHLANDERS have secured the services of Bantu Rovers goalkeeper Takunda “TK” Mutanga on a permanent transfer to replace Chicken Inn shot stopper Liberty Chirava, who fell out with coach Bongani Mafu on the Bulawayo giants’ trip to Victoria Falls a few weeks ago.
Bosso chief executive officer Ndumiso Gumede yesterday confirmed that Mutanga is now Highlanders goalkeeper and will be registered for the 2015 Castle Lager Premier Soccer League (PSL) season alongside Ariel Sibanda and Njabulo Nyoni.
“He (Mutanga) is no longer a Bantu Rovers goalkeeper. He is now our goalkeeper,” Gumede said yesterday.
Gumede could not be drawn into divulging the nature of the deal, saying “It is a secret.”
Tshintsha Guluva’s general manager Wilbert Sibanda yesterday confirmed Mutanga’s move saying it was a swop deal with Highlanders junior midfielder Chidzani Malaba, who has permanently moved to Bantu Rovers.
“It is a permanent transfer. It was a swop deal with Chidzani Malaba. We have replaced TK (Mutanga) with Edric Ndlovu from Hwange,” Sibanda said.
Mutanga (25) was Bantu Rovers’ trusted man between the goalposts last year when Tshintsha Guluva negotiated their way into the top-flight league through the franchise of Plumtree Chiefs who said they had “merged” with the Methembe Ndlovu-owned side.
Bantu Rovers, who will be competing in the Southern Region Soccer League, hopeful to return to the PSL next year, have loaned out three players to Highlanders.
Striker Obadiah Tarumbwa, captain Nqobizitha Masuku and Young Warriors defender Teenage Hadebe were loaned to Bosso on one-year deals.
Sibanda said Bantu Rovers were still discussing with Highlanders on Under-20 striker Thembalethu Mthunzi, whom the Bulawayo giants have registered in the juniors quota with Thomas Chideu, Godfrey Makaruse, Bukhosi Ncube and Ishmael Munsaka.
Bantu Rovers have loaned midfielder Tafadzwa Kutinyu to Chicken Inn on a one-year deal.
Chirava threw some tribal card after his failure to land the Bosso deal and his plans to return to Chicken Inn have seemingly hit a brickwall because of his unfortunate statements.
Meanwhile, Bosso are still making frantic efforts to have left-back Julius Daudi registered for this season.
Gumede yesterday said Highlanders had received Daudi’s clearance from Namibian side FNB XI and approached Zifa to secure a reverse international transfer certificate (ITC) for the former Railstars player from Namibia Football Association.
“We got the clearance from his club (FNB XI) and we have since written to Zifa to get the ITC from Namibia FA,” Gumede said.
The Zifa transfer window period closes on March 25.
Highlanders head coach Mafu, who was impressed by Daudi in pre-season, is on record saying they would be dropping one player from their 30-member squad if the left-back is cleared on time.
Injury-prone Honest Moyo is a left-back registered among the Bosso defenders with Felix Chindungwe, Erick Mudzingwa, Douglas Sibanda, Hadebe, Lewis Ncube and Webster Chingodza.
Bruce Kangwa, who has been left-back, has been moved forward to play an attacking role in the centre.
One other player who has been affected by clearance issues is striker Ashton Mhlanga, who has a contract with Black Mambas, which runs until June.