Jere buys CAPS United

HARARE - Harare businessman, Farai Jere, has acquired an 80 percent stake in CAPS United in a move which gives him control of the country’s third largest football team.

Former majority shareholder, Twine Phiri, will hold 20 percent in a new structure which is set to put an end to cash struggles and attendant poor performances at the club.

Yesterday well informed sources told the Daily News that Phiri had converted the club’s debt to Jere into equity, effectively staving off lawsuits that had been mulled by former directors who were owed an estimated combined $ 5 million.

A press conference announcing the new developments is scheduled for the capital today where finer details of the deal would be made public.

The deal, according to sources, is set to make the Green Machine competitive once again after three years of turbulence owing to financial dire straits.

United, they said, will actively participate in the transfer window to beef up the quad while mending relations with dome of the key players who had become disillusioned with life at Makepekepe.

United troubles began at the end of 2012 when Jere decided to take a back seat and withdrew his sponsorship of the club.

Since then, Phiri, who is also the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League chairman, was bankrolling the club on his own.

Due to Zimbabwe’s declining economy, financing the club’s day-to-day operations became a huge burden on Phiri. Player strikes and revolts were ever present at Makepekepe as Phiri struggled to meet his contractual obligations.

At one stage during the 2013 season, players waylaid Jere at his offices and pleaded with the Harare businessman to reconsider his decision but it did not work.

The following season, Phiri appointed a board of directors to help source funding for the club but that chapter also had a nasty ending.

The board was dissolved at the end of last season and in recent weeks two former members, Lewis Uriri and Nhamo Tutisani dragged the club to court.

Uriri and Tutisani were seeking a provisional order to liquidate Makepekepe as part of recovering money they had invested during their tenure in the board.

At the start of the current season there appeared to be a silver cloud on the horizon when the club struck an endorsement deal with a South African mobile application company, Zing.

Relations between the two also did not end well as Zing pulled out of the sponsorship deal citing a number of maladministration issues prevalent at the club.

On the other hand, United also shot back at Zing, claiming the company intended to elbow out the shareholders and take overall control of the club.

United began the 2015 season under Briton coach Mark Harrison by earning two wins over Whawha and FC Platinum.

All that progress was halted when Makepekepe players refused to take to the field against How Mine in Bulawayo in April in protest over unpaid salaries and bonuses.

Since then, United has been a house on fire with star striker Roderick Mutuma quitting the club earlier this month.

Defenders Dominic Mukandi and Stephen Makatuka last week skipped training raising fears they could on their way out of the club.

But new developments could see them back at the club, including Mutuma.

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