$5m bid for Dynamos

HARARE - Zimbabwe most successful football club, Dynamos, could be sold for up to five million dollars if the club’s founders accept an offer tabled by a wealthy South African businessman, the Daily News can reveal.

The club’s founding fathers, who include board chairman Freddy Mkwesha, finance director Robson Rundaba, administration director Bernard Marriot Lusengo and board secretary Chris Kasiyazi are understood to have met on Monday at the offices of a prominent Harare lawyer.

However, contacted for detail, Samkange declined to comment.

“I know nothing about what you are talking about,” he said.

According to impeccable sources, the meeting was held at the request of Information minister Webster Shamu, who is the club’s patron and Dynamos chief executive Casper Muzenda.

The legal representative of the South African tycoon, whose identity could not be revealed, reportedly told the founding fathers that their client was prepared to pour in between three to five million dollars to acquire the 50-year-old club, which has won the Zimbabwean league title a record 19 times.

The source added that the club founders are likely to find the offer too tempting. At the Monday meeting, they requested a proposal in writing.   

Influential board member Bernard Marriot Lusengo dismissed the claims as speculation.

“Dynamos is our livelihood,” said Lusengo. “Why would we want to sell the club after 50 years of existence? These people who are saying this are just trying to make stories out of nothing.”

Shamu, the club patron, was not reachable yesterday.

For a club perennially plagued by financial woes, internal squabbling and ownership wrangles, many local football followers believe selling it to a stable single owner is the best solution in pursuit of stability.

Dynamos have since formation in 1963 operated as a community team, with the club’s founders showing reluctance to privatise it, which many analysts have blamed as a hindrance to professionalism due to the chaotic and free-for-all style of management.  

The country’s best-supported team by some distance, the Dynamos brand has potential to become a big money-spinner, but 50 years on, the club operates on an amateur basis.

Sources say the South African bidder plans to take full control of the club and has proposed to “build a stadium, acquire offices in a good neighbourhood and professionalise the players.”

Privatisation of football clubs has become the norm the world over.

In neighbouring South Africa, the country’s top three clubs — Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates and Mamelodi Sundowns — are owned and controlled by individual businessman, Kaizer Motaung, Irvin Khoza and Patrice Motsepe, respectively.

The idea of selling Dynamos was first mooted by the club’s former chairman Lloyd Hove, who left the club before he could implement his vision, which at that time was roundly criticised and rejected by the board members and some power hungry club individuals.

At Monday’s meeting, the South African tycoon’s representatives told those in attendance that the ageing directors, if his offer was accept, would stay on at the club albeit in an honorary and advisory capacity.

He said the directors would be made “honorary life directors,” although they will relinquish day-to-day running of the club.

Currently, Dynamos is administered by an executive, led by chairman Kenny Mubaiwa. Members of the executive are not full-time employees of the club. It is believed the potential owners of the club will appoint their own management team if the bid is successful.

A second meeting is expected to be held this week, where a formal offer will be presented before the entire Dynamos board, executive and supporters’ representatives.

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