Ndlovu seeks 'unjust riches': lawyer

HARARE - Former Zimbabwe football captain Peter Ndlovu has been accused of trying to “unjustly enrich” himself by demanding $55 000 from former employer Twalumba Holdings.

Cross-examining Ndlovu yesterday, Twalumba lawyer Pardon Makuwaza said the country’s most decorated footballer was not entitled to the money.

Ndlovu is demanding $55 000 from Twalumba or a suburban house promised to him as part of his sign-on package when he came out of retirement in 2011 to join Highfield United, a lower division club owned by the company.

The ex-Warriors skipper was immediately loaned out to Premiership club Black Mambas after signing for Highfield, although the comeback turned out to be an anti-climax, making two substitute appearances on two occasions before disappearing from the scene.

“Will you not be unjustly enriched without executing your duties or playing for the team?” Makuwaza asked.

Ndlovu, who played in the UK for 13 years, says he played and added value to Twalumba with his “brand name” and was entitled to the signing-on fees.

Ndlovu also briefly played for Highfield before the club terminated his contract in July of the same year on breach of contract allegations.

The Bulawayo-born football icon, who is represented by Harrison Nkomo, told the court that when he went into agreement with Twalumba Holdings, he was supposed to get $55 000 signing on fees or a house in Harare of the same value.

Twalumba group executive chairman Nkululeko Sibanda said he did not have a “soccer contract” with the current Warriors assistant coach but the two had entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). Sibanda said the MOU was in preparation of a football contract which was yet to be signed.

Ndlovu, however, insisted that the two parties had signed a contract which was binding and was entitled to the signing-on fee.

“Being a brand name myself I would not play for anybody without a contract unless if it’s for charity,” said Ndlovu.

Sibanda, on the other hand, claims Ndlovu did not sign the contract. He said Ndlovu took the contract to Bulawayo with the intention of consulting his family members, but never signed it.

“The soccer contract was never signed. It is a Memorandum of Understanding, which I alluded to as a forerunner to the contract that we were going to sign. With this document (MOU), we could not register Peter with Zifa because it is not recognised as a soccer contract,” said Sibanda.

Leading football agent Winstone Makamure, who managed Ndlovu during his playing days in Europe, told the court that a soccer player is entitled to “signing on fees” soon after appending his signature on the contract.

Ndlovu, who turns 40 this month, was capped 100 times by Zimbabwe and scored a record 38 goals for the national side.

He joined Coventry City in the English Premier League during the 1990-91season from Zimbabwean club Highlanders and later played for Birmingham City, Huddersfield and Sheffield United.

He later played for Mamelodi Sundowns in South Africa in 2004 and also turned out for Thanda Royal Zulu Football Club.

The trial continues today. - Tendai Kamhungira, Court Writer

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