Forget it Jere!

HARARE - On the surface, it was a match made in heaven. But deep inside it was one of the most uneasy and lopsided partnerships in Zimbabwean football.

In the aftermath of the dramatic fallout between ex-CAPS United (CAPS) co-owners Twine Phiri and Farai Jere, this sad and regrettable episode has raised serious questions about the logic of pouring personal funds into any local football club.

While the Logistica Shipping (Logistica) director has chosen not to talk about the saga and assuring the Weekend Post that he had helped the club “as a social responsibility initiative”, he would also not say what measures he has instituted to recoup his $1,4 million investment.

Phiri, on the other hand, has declined comment on the unravelling saga, insisting he was pursuing other strategies and funding options to salvage the situation.

Even though, Jere is now being treated like an outcast by the CAPS family — the fact of the matter is he helped Phiri’s club at its hour of need and single-handedly sustained it for seven years for that matter.

And in that vein, the latter — and his backers — must just be grateful for that “charity from this Dynamos” supporter!

For the record, this analysis is neither a brief nor bidding for any of the warring parties, but a simple interrogation or attempt to unpack the Caps principals’ understanding of the virtues of fairness and natural justice.

This is, however, not to say Jere is a saint, especially when it comes to his intentions or medium term plan for the troubled football club.

But at a glance, the Caps saga is by no means a rosy and happy affair — bordering on serious “foul play” and analysts were unanimous that Phiri should have treated his estranged partner with more respect, and dignity.

After reportedly sidestepping former Geddes executive Shepherd Bwanya and Andy Hodges’ group, the latter should have done better.

From Ubuntu to the basic minimum standards of business efficacy, morality and truthfulness, it does not look right to be seen as sustaining one’s lifestyle at another person’s tab or expense — which is why Jere’s case not only leaves a bitter taste in the mouth, but beggars the question about his chances for some form of compensation given Phiri’s alleged financial incapacitation.

Like Jere, many of the analysts surveyed by the Weekend Post urged the two to “iron out their differences” for the good of the club since “they need each other” anyway.

“Jere must stay at CAPS United because financially he is the backbone of the club,” former CAPS United captain Limited Chikafa said.

“He is a passionate man, passionate about the club and passionate about football. He has been very professional in the way he manage the football club and I believe he will not abandon us,” Chikafa added.

Chikafa’s views were echoed by Paul Gundani, the former Zimbabwe international who is now the secretary-general of the Footballers Union of Zimbabwe.

“They should solve their differences because CAPS is bigger than Jere and Phiri.

The players are the ones who suffer because already we are receiving complaints from their players who have not been paid,” the former Zimbabwe international said.

Gundani described Jere as “a man of integrity who appeared honest in the way he discharged his responsibilities.”

“We have to make sure that clubs in Zimbabwe have defined ownership agreements to avoid such scenarios,” Gundani added.

Initially promised a 45 percent stake in CAPS — from the current 20 percent — Jere must be feeling robbed and hard done after bankrolling the team for seven years.

For the self-made shipping executive, the last straw in this unpleasant union was the disappearance of his share certificate for nearly a quarter of the club, it was reported recently. — WeekendPost

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