Chitato regrets snubbing DeMbare

HARARE - Ailing ex-footballer Edmore Chitato looks back with regret turning down overtures from Dynamos for Motor Action three years ago.

Chitato now 34 is battling a heart disease and recalls with sadness how a potential move to the Glamour Boys was thwarted after agreeing to join Eric Rosen’s now defunct club.

Chitato said: “I played half a season under Lloyd Mutasa at Kiglon during the 2010 season and rate him as one of my favourite coaches. He encouraged the passing game and not to play the kick and rush kind of football practised by most coaches.

“The following season Lloyd went to Dynamos and he wanted me to go with him. Several youngsters that I played alongside at Kiglon signed for DeMbare but at that time I had a lot of personal problems.

“It was in January and I did not have any money and when Rosen approached me with a ward of cash, I had no choice but reluctantly signed for Motor Action.

“I wanted to play for DeMbare, its every player’s dream to play for such a big team.”

Chitato’s former teammates at Kiglon, the likes of Devon Chafa, Thomas Magorimbo, Gift Bello and Dominic Benati all followed Mutasa to DeMbare.

The quartet was rewarded by winning the championship with DeMbare in 2011, in their first season with the club.

Chafa, Magorimbo and Bello went on to win two more championship medals with the Glamour Boys.

Chitato looks back with envy on the success that his former teammates went on to achieve with the Harare giants.

If only he had not turned down the Glamour Boys, he could have been part of that trailblazing DeMbare squad that has won a record three titles on the trot.

It seems like luck was not Chitato’s side after a proposed move to South African giants Orlando Pirates fail through at the last minute.

The Sea Robbers had sent scouts to Harare to watch former CAPS United striker Simba Sithole but ended up opting to take Chitato for trials. 

“These guys came to me after the match and enquired about my personal details and later on they told me who they were and what business had brought them to Zimbabwe,” he said.

“They said they were not impressed with their initial mission and hence wanted to give me an opportunity at Pirates.

“They encouraged me to keep training hard and after a week they were back in Harare and together with Qadr Amin we left for South Africa.

"We went through three different sets of medicals, booked in a hotel for two weeks, met Irvine Khoza the owner and signed pre-contracts but didn’t get the opportunity to train with the team because of a busy travelling schedule they had at that time and somewhere both deals failed to materialise.”

If he had signed with Buccaneers, maybe life would have been different as there are a lot of benefits of playing in the rich Super Diski.

In 2012, Chitato left Motor Action for Swaziland but a had a short lived stay in King Mswati’s kingdom before returning home to sign for Black Mambas during the mid-season transfer period.

“That was the worst experience of my football career,” he said of Mambas.

“When (Moses) Chunga was dismissed as head coach, (John) Ncube and Martin (Bonyongwe) relegated me out of the squad for the first four games before I was handed my first match against Motor Action who traditionally Mambas had never got a point against.

“Considering this history most players feigned injuries and I was put on the team sheet for the first time.

“We were two goals down at half time and I scored with my first touch after being introduced as a second half substitute then won a penalty that was converted by Last Chibwiro as we drew 2-2 and getting Mambas’ first point ever against Motor Action.”

Chitato called time on his career at the end of the 2012 season and at the moment he is fighting against the heart disease.

The 32-year-old was forced to sell his car which he used as a taxi in order to settle some medical expenses.

He said:  “The war is still on guys need your assistance. I need cash for transport, reviews and we still owe the doctors money for the period I was admitted recently.  We thank you in advance. God bless you. My EcoCash number is 0772655060.”

Born in Dzivarasekwa in 1982, Chitato showed that he was a natural striker at an early age for his primary and secondary school teams.

Upon completing his studies, he went on to play for lower division sides such as Willdale, Grain Tigers and Rufaro Rovers.

At Rovers he played together with such players like David Sengu, Prince Kadewere, Herbert Zimbeva and Chewe Mulenga.

Chitato finally got his big break when he joined Hwange in 2001 and went on to play at the Colliery for five seasons.

“I was signed by David Mwanza who was deputised by David Phiri but just after two weeks the head coach was fired and replaced by Weekly Mwale and luckily for me we managed to click,” Chitato said.

“My best season was of course under Paul Moyo, who I also rate as one of the best coaches in Zimbabwe. We made it into the Zifa Cup final but lost 1-0 to CAPS United in 2005.”

Chitato was instrumental in luring some of the Harare-based players to join Hwange and these include Brian Mhizha, Philmon Gubudu, Norman Njelele and Takesure Chinyama.

After his stay in Hwange, Chitato moved to Monomotapa at the start of the 2006 season.

“In my first season at the club, we had arguably the strongest team in the league but the guys lacked discipline and I feel coach Misheck Chidzambwa failed to control the players as the head coach,” he said.

“The next season, we fought relegation under Friday Phiri and then Norman Mapeza came the following season.

“We lost the opening four games and when Rodwell Dhlakama was brought in as an assistant coach, we went on a 13-match unbeaten run and won the 2008 league.”

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