Pfumbidzai looks into the future

HARARE - Often caught at the centre of controversy in his short CAPS United career, Ronald Pfumibidzai looks back at his Makepekepe stays and feels he could have done other things differently.

Pfumbidzai had a fairly decent game in his last outing for the Harare giants on Saturday in which he hit the cross bar direct from a corner kick as the Green Machine played out a goalless draw against Harare City at Rufaro Stadium on Saturday.

It was the Chitungwiza-based player’s last outing for CAPS as he now embarks on a new journey with Danish top-flight side Hobro IK.

Pfumbidzayi leaves behind mixed emotions from his time with the Green Machine.

He rose to become a fan favourite following an inspirational debut season for the Green Machine when he signed from Eastern Region Division One side Hippo Valley at the start of the 2013.

But things turned sour at the height of financial constraints that hit the Harare giants with Twine Phiri at the helm.

United fans were left reeling as turmoil engulfed the Green Machine camp with players boycotting training and games regularly.

Many felt the Zimbabwe Under-23 left back was the ring leader in the player revolts, inciting his teammates to down their boots.

Pfumbidzayi was the fall guy after most of these strikes as he was accused of being a bad influence on his teammates.

Now on his way to Denmark, the left back hopes to start a new chapter in career and leaves CAPS without any ill feelings.

“I just say to say to the United players stay strong and keep fighting because you never know who is watching you,” he said.

The 20-year-old hopes fans will remember him for all the good memories he shared with the green army.

“I want to thank all the CAPS fans. They always stood by me always. I will miss them a lot. I just wish that my team can regroup and go on and mount a serious title challenge,” he said.

“I had my mistakes but life goes on. It’s all the past now.”

‘Golf administrators must work hard’

HARARE - Former Zimbabwe Golf Association (ZGA) president Muchadeyi Masunda feels there is no excuse why golf should be struggling for funding despite the prevailing harsh economic environment.

The former Harare Mayor, who has chaired more than 10 companies, believes administrative shortcomings are at the centre of the numerous problems infecting the sport.

His remarks came on the backdrop of the ZGA Award ceremony on Friday night where the only incentive accorded to the winners was a certificate and their name engraved on a shield.

“Times are hard especially for corporates but if you come up with well packaged programmes you are going to get support I can assure you,” he said.

“Take care of all these other things and let the boys concrete on playing golf.  The tennis tournament taking place at the moment was generously sponsored by Old Mutual.  It’s a question of putting in your bid early.

“Whilst I was away in Cape Town on business I got frantic phone of calls from (Zimbabwe Junior Golf president) Brian Maphosa just before the kids left for (the Junior World Cup in) Japan.”

“But it was too late. Too late. You need to start working on these things well in advance and if you package the whole thing properly you won’ be short of sponsors.

“Just to give you a graphic illustration of what I am talking about; Roger (Baylis) and I had the privilege of taking a Zimbabwe team to the Eisenhower Trophy in 2006 and for the first time in the history of the Eisenhower Tournament which goes back to 1958, Zimbabwe made history by being the first country to be represented by caddies which included Brian Gondo and Julius Kamalizeni.

“At the time, I was president of the ZGA and we introduced a policy that said the selection criteria would be on ‘ability to play rather than ability to pay.’

“Because in a number of instances we have a lot of talented kids who unfortunately are not able to pay their way through golf and thus cannot play all the requisite tournaments in order to stand a chance for selection.”

The former Zimplats Holdings Ltd board member added: “So, having let the result speak for themselves, we ended up with over 15 corporate entities, who were literary falling over each other to be associated with that project.

“And as if that is not enough, we got £ 10 000 from the Royal and Ancient as a contribution to our participation in the Eisenhower.

“At that tournament our boys did well. It was a very emotional occasion after three holes our boys were lying second and there was (now World number one) Rory McIlroy playing for Northern Ireland.

“And Julius Kamalizeni had a hole in one and the other boys weighed in with birdies. The point I m at pains to make is that lets take care of all these administrative things and let the boys' only worry be about playing golf.”

Rugby was my only way out – Mujati

HARARE - International rugby star Brian Mujati says his rugby career has been a roller coaster ride that he could never have predicted 15 years ago.

The prop, who has turned into an avid YouTube blogger, says his 10-day visit to Zimbabwe that ended last week has given him a fresh perspective and soothed the frustration that he has been experiencing in the last two years.

The Zimbabwean-born former Springbok prop currently turns out for French Top 14 side Racing Metro in France.

“It’s been one hell of a trip. It’s one of the things I needed to do. Needed to come back home,” Mujati said on You Tube programme aptly called “The Life of Brian.”

“For the most part I just been thinking, just been reflecting on a lot of things.  You know I have been in France for two years, it has not been my greatest time in rugby. So coming back and thinking back it reminds me of running around in my Suzuku 175 motorcycle and just fantasizing what life would be like if I was a professional rugby player……something hit me and this thought crossed my mind. If someone had come to me 10-15 years ago and said to me ‘You know Brian this is what is going to happen,” he says.

“In a few years’ time you are going to go to South Africa. It’s gonna be hard as f*** somehow with some stroke of luck you going to survive. In matter of few years you gonna be a springbok. Then you gonna go to England it’s gonna be f*** awesome. You probably gonna play the best rugby of your life.

“Then you are going to go to a huge club in France. It’s gonna be the best club you have ever played at. It probably won’t go well you will probably hate it most of the time…..Then you gonna come back to Harare and you gonna have a bit of money in your pocket and you gonna look back at this great unbelievable experience that you never imagined. I wouldn’t have believed them.

“But being here I can’t help but feel really humbled I haven’t won a lot of trophies, Curie Cups, World Cups, things you might associate with rugby success. You know when I went to the Zim rugby game.

“A lot of those guys I played with most of those guys in club rugby when I finished school. Those were the cards I was dealt, that’s where I am supposed to be playing, but here I am a Racing Metro player.”

The tighthead prop said rugby had been his gateway to success.

“Rugby has been great for me. At the beginning it was tough.” he says. “I used to work menial jobs, I used to be a waiter, I sold supplements, I was a personal trainer, I did coaching, I tried to be a bouncer, I sold paper strays, and I sold computer components.

“Eventually I made a little bit of coin. I got married. I had my kids. I had my family. I helped my siblings go through school. I’m just so grateful. I think know when I go back (to France) I can’t help but take comfort that this is where I am from. To a large extent I forgot who I was. I’m really glad I came to Hare and I had this experience.”

Kieran Vincent wins big

HARARE - St John's College student Kieran Vincent emerged as the biggest winner at the Zimbabwe Golf Association (ZGA) awards ceremony held at Warren Hills Golf Club on Friday night.

The banquet, however, lacked colour or glamour expected of local golf’s principal awards ceremony whilst the only incentive accorded to the winners was a certificate and their name engraved on a shield.

Away from the administrative shortcomings, Vincent was over the moon after walking away with the Male Junior Golfer of the Year award ahead of Jack Allard and Justin Kirsten.

He later claimed the Most Improved Male Golfer award to sum up his inspired year.

That recognition came on the back of a great effort which saw the St John’s College student help Zimbabwe’s junior golf team finish 12th at the Toyota Junior Golf World Cup in Japan.

At that tournament, Vincent signed for a final round 72 to finish three under par for the tournament and conclude as Zimbabwe’s highest placed golfer in position 13 out of a field of 60 golfers.

The night also belonged to rising female golfer Danielle Bekker, who won the Female Junior Golfer of the Year ahead of Margaret Nyamukondiwa.

Visitor Mapwanya was a surprise winner of the best Amateur Male Golfer of the Year ahead of exceptional Stuart Krog, who has been dominating both local and regional amateur events.

The Amateur Female Golfer of the Year went to Loice Chingono ahead of other nominees Batsirai Tilowakuti and Alfazema Aulia.

Late Zimbabwe golfing prodigy Lewis Chitengwa (Jnr) was honoured posthumously with the Lifetime Golf Achievement Award along with John Nixon and Harry Oosthuizen.

ZGA awards judges panel committee member Titus Zvomuya said the process of coming up with the winners was transparent in as far as the judges were concerned.

“Our job was to adjudicate on the names we were given. So if any name is missing don’t shoot the adjudicators shoot the stakeholders from the various provinces,” he said.

“Each of the 17 categories had its own criteria. We were not measuring one category against another. The majority of the categories were excellently subscribed with the exception of a two, these being the Special Olympics for the Male and Female Golfer of the Year.

“In some instances the information provided was not full. For example in the Golf Publication of the Year award, for a province to simply say Manica Post, it’s not enough for the judges’ panel. What about Manica Post?

“Give us more details. That information helps us to come up with an objective assessment. In some categories we just got names, no detail whatsoever and we had to come up with information as judges and also use the secretariat to come up with the information.

“All this sometimes comprises, because if we miss out on something then it’s no longer objective. The information must come up from the provincial associations who should be keeping a tracking record.”

The sports administrator added:

“If any of these winners are involved in any misconduct after being given these awards, we will withdraw this accolade. This is a model sport.”

ZGA Awards Winners

Male Junior Golfer of the Year: Kieran Vincent, Female Junior Golfer of the Year: Danielle Bekker, Amateur Male Golfer of the Year: Visitor Mapwanya, Amateur Female Golfer of the Year: Loice Chingono, Golf Development Programme: Mashonaland Junior Golf Development, Most Improved Female Golfer: Emily Jones, Most Improved Male Golfer: Kieran Vincent, Male Professional Golfer of the Year: Tongoona Charamba, Golf Publication of the Year: Staying the Course, Golf Reporter of the Year: Josh Munthali, Golf Achievement Award: Julia Drazdik, Cedric Jonker, Lifetime Golf Achievement Award: Lewis Chitengwa (Muridzo Jnr), John Nixon, Harry Oosthuizen, Corporate Recognition Award: Chaferfly Enterprises, Toyota Zimbabwe, Premier Auto Services, International Golf Ambassador: Tony Johnstone, Golf Publication of the Year: Stay on the Course, Special Olympics Male: Viren Mehta, Special Olympics Female: Tsitsi Maponda.

Mujati blasts state of Zim

HARARE - Outspoken former Springbok prop Brian Mujati has torn into the state of Zimbabwe saying despite having good memories of growing up here “it’s a terrible country to live in.”

The powerfully-built prop was on a 10-day visit to his country of birth, enjoying the French Top 14 end of season break where he is turning out for Racing Metro.

Although he seemed chuffed and ‘humbled’ to be back home, Mujati did not have kind words for the state of the country.

In a frank assessment of how he sees things in Zimbabwe, Mujati, who filmed his experiences in the country, said he did well for himself to get out.

“It’s weird being back at home. You know this where I am from. The nice thing about coming to Zimbabwe, it reminds me of where I am from,” he says on the video posted on YouTube.

“It reminds me that I came from here and now I live in Paris, it’s very humbling and it’s also very comforting.

“I have had a bit of a tough year in France.  Just started feeling sorry for myself and thinking how bad things are going.

“You know I came from here, and although this is home and I love it here, when you take out all the nostalgia and happy memories from childhood this place is a proper f*** s** hole and I did well to get out of here.

“Don’t get me wrong I love it. But it’s a terrible country to live in.”

The Bulawayo-born and Peterhouse-educated Mujati earned 12 caps for South Africa back in 2008 before joining Englands’ Northamptonshire in 2009.

He then settled in Paris with his wife and young child.

Lock climbs new career high

HARARE - Benjamin Lock may have failed to clinch the Old Mutual Zimbabwe F1 Futures tournament but he will take heart from climbing his highest singles ranking on the ATP standings last week.

The former Zimbabwe Open Champion soared to 811 on the ATP singles ranking released last week.

That came after he clinched the F1 Futures at Clube de Tenis de in Maputo, Mozambique a fortnight ago.

The Finance major at Florida State University (FSU) is over the moon about his new ranking having finished 2014 ranked 1202.

He had ended 2013 ranked 1799.

On Friday, the 22-year-old bowed out at the semi-final stage of the Zimbabwe F1 Futures tournament at Harare Sports Club.

Lock’s was undone by a 5-7, 3-6 straight sets loss to Evan King of United States.

Prior to coming unstuck against the 23-year-old, who is ranked 1086, Lock was in a class of his own.

He had stormed into the semi-finals of the tournament after accounting for France’s Roman Bauvy in a tightly-contested quarter-final 6-2, 3-6, 6-1.

The FSU student had earlier fought aggressively to beat Portugal’s Vasco Mensurado 7-6(2), 6-2 in the second round of the $10 000 event.

In the first round, Lock beat Samuel Bothwell in a match he lost the first set 2-6 before showing his class by winning the next two 6-3, 6-2.

23 paupers’ burials in Marondera

MARONDERA - A paupers' burial is a very simple process usually done at the State’s expense, but with Zimbabwe’s debilitating economic meltdown many provincial hospitals are reeling and cannot afford even such basic services.

Marondera Provincial Hospital’s run down mortuary was so overwhelmed having conducted its last paupers’ burial in 2014 and corpses piling up uncollected.

The hospital’s morgue has since fallen into a state of disrepair, with broken refrigerators unable to maintain the required temperatures to prevent decomposition.

Their problem is a microcosmic representation of what has become of most State run hospitals.

“The ministry of health used to assist us but because of economic challenges we have had to resort to private public partnerships,” said Marondera Provincial Hospital administrator Albert Mutsinze.

“We have been engaging private companies and funeral parlours to help us solve our crisis.”

Yesterday, the hospital’s situation changed as they were able to conduct a mass burial to empty the hospital’s mortuary of 23 unclaimed and decomposing bodies.

“We buried 11 adults and 12 babies with the assistance of Doves who have taken over the running of our morgue. Among the babies’ copses are some which had been abandoned by their mothers who skipped the hospital afraid to foot the bills.

“All babies above two kilogrammes should be buried but basically when these mothers go they never come back. The adults we mainly get them from the old people’s homes.  They fail to bury the deceased because no relatives are found.

“We do a media appeal to ask if they are any relatives to come forward and claim their deceased.”

Doves managing director Kenneth Chigananda said it was their drive to accord descent burials to the deceased persons who have no one else to give them a commendable burial.

“It is our duty as an institution to give all funerals a decent burial. That’s why we are aiming to make this a countrywide thing.

“We started with Chitungwiza Hospital, now in Marondera and we have partnered with them to fix their morgue which was not in a great state.”