By Tadious Manyepo
Dynamos’ Cameroonian striker could be available for the team’s must-win tie against bottom-of-the-table ZPC Kariba at Nyamhunga on Saturday if the DeMbare executive run around to secure his work permit by tomorrow.
The player’s manager, Gilbert Sengwe, gave his client the greenlight to start playing for the Glamour Boys.
The Harare giants owe the Cameroonian in excess of $16 000 in signing-on fees and other allowances and the player, under instruction from his manager, has been refusing to play for the team until they pay him at least half of that amount.
But, Sengwe who was supposed to meet with the Dynamos executive yesterday to map the way forward, told The Herald last night they had reached an agreement with DeMbare.
He said the forward could start playing for the Glamour Boys again.
DeMbare coach Lloyd Mutasa has always been saying his team, who have failed to score in three of their four league matches, could have done better with Epoupa in their squad.
“Epoupa (Christian) is a vital member of the team. We always want him to play a part for us. He is actually one of the best strikers in the country and to have him in our squad is always a good thing,” said Mutasa.
“Unfortunately, that’s what I can only say because his availability is a pure administrative issue. But on the technical side, we need him that’s why we registered him.”
Mutasa’s prayers have finally been answered as Sengwe has now agreed in principle for his client to start playing for Dynamos.
“We were supposed to meet with the Dynamos executive yesterday but we couldn’t due to some pressing commitments on both parties,” he said.
“We agreed in principle to iron out our differences and I can confirm that Epoupa is now available for selection. There are very few issues which we want to discuss with the team but everything is now in order.”
Dynamos deposited $3000 into Epoupa’s old account which Sengwe said the player could not access.
“At the moment, Epoupa has no work permit and cannot play for Dynamos. I have given him the green light to take part and he is actually training with the rest of the team,” said Sengwe. “But, he has no work permit, which his employer (Dynamos) is supposed to apply for.
“If they successfully apply for the document by Friday, then he could play for them in their next assignment which I understand is on Saturday against ZPC Kariba.
“We are still to discuss other issues but, at the moment, I can safely say Epoupa is now available for selection if Dynamos make sure he has his work permit.
“We will have a meeting tomorrow (today) just to tie some loose ends otherwise it is now done and dusted.
“I will be in a position to tell you the actual details of the agreement after tomorrow’s (today) meeting. I am happy with the progress otherwise without our prior demands being met, it could obviously have been difficult to let a demoralised player to play.
“Our demands were simple. Epoupa always needs his money in time because he needs to send it to his family which is in Cameroon. He cannot come here to just play for nothing.”
Meanwhile, Zimbabwean football was yesterday plunged into mourning following the death of former Dynamos and Shooting Stars defensive stalwart Tapfumanei Gweshe.
Gweshe passed away yesterday morning in Zengeza after a long illness.
He was 34.
His brother, Brian Gweshe, confirmed the death.
Gweshe was part of the famous Moses Chunga-led Kidznet Dynamos project at the turn of the millennium.
“It’s really sad to lose a young life who was quiet enterprising during his playing days. I coached him during my time at Dynamos at the turn of the millennium along with a group of other good players,” said Chunga.
“He was just a marvel. A defender whom I think would have gone all the way to the highest level in his career had he not been injured.
“I remember he formed a formidable combination in central defence with Trymore Mtisi.”
The Footballers Union of Zimbabwe said their thoughts were with his family.
“Our deepest condolences go to the Gweshe family. May they find comfort in God during these trying times. His death is a huge loss to the football fraternity and to his family. May his soul rest in peace,” said FUZ in a statement.
A sobbing Norman Maroto, who was Gweshe’s long-time friend, said life will never be the same for him.
“I am at a loss for words. Gweshe was my friend right from our days at Churchill Boys High.
“To his family, I would like to say, we are together in this.
He was a football player who contributed much and even inspired a lot of youngsters who will obviously make it to the top,”
Born on December 26, 1984 in Chitungwiza, in a family of six, four boys and two girls, Gweshe started playing football while he was at Zengeza 7 Primary.
He is survived by wife, Angeline and two children, Sasha (14) and Wewe (7). Mourners are gathered at No. 56, Nungu Street in Zengeza.
He will be buried in Gweshe village, Chief Chivero, in Mhondoro tomorrow.