By Eddie Chikamhi and Tadious Manyepo
Dynamos have ordered their Cameroonian import, Christian Epoupa Ntouba, to report for duty or face sanctions after the long-standing row with the player was clarified at the weekend.
Epoupa, who is being chased by Ngezi Platinum, missed the opening five games of the season claiming the Glamour Boys needed to clear his salary and signing-on fees arrears amounting to over $16 000.
But it emerged at the weekend the Harare giants had paid him all his dues, which amounted to $18 125, through their new sponsors NetOne.
Epoupa’s manager, Gilbert Sengwe, however, claimed his client was still owed large amounts and had reached a point where he was demanding clearance from the former champions.
But the mystery was unravelled at the weekend when the Glamour Boys and their sponsors called for a press conference to clarify the situation.
A lot of questions were asked after Epoupa and his manager failed to turn up despite having made assurances they would be there.
DeMbare president, Kenny Mubaiwa, yesterday said they would institute investigations to find out the real source of the problem, with suspicions that the player could have been mulling a move to Ngezi Platinum.
“We didn’t want to talk much about this because we feared that it could affect our sponsors’ brand. Even now I think this should be a closed chapter because our position has been made clear.
“Epoupa is employed by Dynamos and we expect him to report for duty, like anyone else, and to render his services as stipulated in the contract, which is to play football. If he fails to turn up we will take action.
“I am sure we will also investigate what has been going on. If we find any anomalies, we will sue,” said Mubaiwa.
Dynamos have started the season on the back-foot and are yet to win a match in five starts.
Their coach Lloyd Mutasa has mourned the absence of the Cameroonian as his team has failed to find the target in four of the five games they played. In contrast, their traditional rivals CAPS United appear to be finding the right momentum after they won their second match on the trot.
Makepekepe opened the season with three draws in succession but identical 2-0 wins over Black Rhinos and Herentals have added some gloss to their campaign.
“I am very satisfied we got a result that we wanted and at the same time kept a clean sheet. I am sure these are positives — a clean sheet and two goals,” said CAPS coach Lloyd Chitembwe.
“I can see a lot of improvement in the speed of thought and execution. If one looks at the way which we executed those goals, like Denver’s goal, I think there was that speed of thought and speed of execution and I am sure it’s only good for the team.
“Even the first goal, which should be Chidi’s first goal, I’m sure the speed of thought as well as execution was there. Generally, I am very impressed.
“We still have a long way to go because we know the season will probably end in November-December thereabout. So we are happy with the progress.”
There were also wins for Triangle who beat Yadah 2-1 on Saturday to take their tally to seven points.
Harare City were also 2-0 victors over Bulawayo Chiefs and Mark Harrison’s men are on nine points.
Meanwhile DeMbare skipper, Ocean Mushure, still insist they will bounce back. Look, everyone at the club is getting worried and as players we are also very disappointed. We feel we have not done what we are supposed to be doing,” said Mushure.
“We are not in the relegation zone because at this point of the marathon, you cannot really tell who is in the driving seat or who is the weakest in terms of quality, but the position we find ourselves in, is unacceptable for a team like ours.
“Like we always say, we are Dynamos, and we are expected to be somewhere near or at the top of the standings. This is one of the worst starts to the season I have ever involved in.
“We are not doing what we have to. But, that doesn’t mean we are throwing in the towel. We are playing poorly and I would like to think maybe it is because some of the guys we have in the system are relatively new and are still trying to adjust to the system.
“Experience is always key and that is exactly what we are lacking at the moment. But, I am very positive we will bounce back to winning ways and find our way to the top.”