How DeMbare gate takings are siphoned

HARARE - Following the loss of Dynamos’ property and that of former executive members due to a $250 000 debt, an insider has revealed to the Daily News how money is siphoned out of the club.

The Glamour Boys are currently reeling after CBZ Bank was awarded a writ of execution to attach the club’s property over a debt dating back to 2011.

Dynamos board chairperson Bernard Marriot Lusengo, his late predecessor Richard Chiminya, former executives Farai Munetsi, Harrison Mbewe and Michael Ignatius George also lost property as they were named in the suit.

However, a key figure in the DeMbare setup has come forward detailing how the club loses thousands of dollars at every home match due to lack of good cooperate governance and accounting procedures.

As the country’s biggest and most supported club, the Glamour Boys enjoy good crowds at their home matches even if their form has been topsy-turvy this season.

According to the informant, Dynamos should have easily serviced the CBZ loan as, at an average, they netted between $20 000 and $25 000 at their home matches when they were winning the championship between 2011 and 2015.

That figure has dropped to between $12 000 and $16 000 this season due to the economic crisis which has gripped Zimbabwe.

DeMbare have a sponsorship agreement with BancABC which caters for all the players’ salaries, training and playing kit while their transport costs are taken care of by an agreement with Nyaradzo Funeral Services.

This means, the club should have enough disposable income to cater for other critical expenses like the CBZ loan but that has not been happening.      

According to the insider, DeMbare no longer bank their gate takings with treasurer Webster Marechera making payments to Marriot and board finance director Owen Chandamalea from his car’s boot.

“The problem started when (Robson) Rundaba was removed from the post of finance director, leaving everything to do with money in the hands of Marechera,” revealed the source.

“When Rundaba was still in charge; after all home games we would surrender all the money to Securico guards, who would keep it at their offices until the next day.

“Monday morning, we would take the money to the bank and a meeting was then held to see which service providers and debtors were paid first. Then the players’ bonuses were also deducted from these gate takings.

“The extra money would remain in the bank and at the end of each year, an audit will be conducted. But since Rundaba was moved from the finance portfolio not a single cent has been banked.”

The source added: “At the end of every match, Marechera takes something between $500 and $700 to give to Chandamale. He then drives to hand Marriot at least $2 000.

“Marriot used to receive his money at the stadium but they changed the venue to Queens Hotel in town after people began to ask questions. Meeting in town became risky as well and they now do the exchange at his house.”

The rest of the board members have no say and even president Kenni Mubaiwa, who is in charge of the executive, is powerless to stop the rot.

“I’ve seen a lot of supporters and even you in the media crucifying Mubaiwa for the club’s decline but that is not correct. He was at the helm when the club won four consecutive championships,” said the source.

“Mubaiwa’s wings have been clipped in recent years and he does not have any control of the club anymore.

“He tried to stamp his authority on the issue of properly managing the gate takings but he was shot down by the board.

“He tried to change things at the club but he was frustrated. I don’t think he is still interested in the club since he has his own businesses to run.”

The source added: “Marechera and team manager Richard Chihoro are the root of all the club’s problems since they were hand-picked to occupy those positions by Marriot.

Marechera unconditionally refuted the allegations. “I do not know anything about giving out money to board members,” he said.

Regarding the CBZ loan, the DeMbare treasurer said: “When the loan was accessed, I was not part of Dynamos. When I took over, the club was fully aware of the loan. I have been briefing the board on a regular basis regarding the loan.

“There is no money in the economy, everything is bad and there was no way we could pay the loan in this environment.”

Marechera promised to provide the Daily News with the club’s audited financial reports from recent years later this week.

Mubaiwa, however, confirmed that the Glamour Boys no longer banked their gate takings.

“If we bank the money, it creates a problem for us when we want to pay the players because you can only withdraw $100 per day,” Mubaiwa said.

“Things are now tough in Zimbabwe and as Dynamos, we are also affected by the economic challenges.

“Once we get cash at hand, it is better to pay our players straight away rather than having them go to the bank to wait in long queues.”

Mubaiwa added: “There is nothing wrong with this in terms of good corporate governance. All the money is accounted for and whoever gets paid signs for the money. Our auditors go through our accounts at the end of each year.”

Regarding the CBZ loan Mubaiwa said: “We were paying at least $10 000 every month to service the loan when we assumed office. We paid close to $200 000 but all the money was going towards the interest.

“As I said before, the economy is not performing well and we reached a stage where we could not pay that monthly instalment hence the attachment of the property. CBZ have records of our payments.”

Efforts to get a comment from Marriot and Chandamale proved fruitless as their phones were not being answered.

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