The late controversial Masvingo business magnate and transport mogul, Tanda Tavaruva, could be turning in his grave to hear that the football team he founded and financed at one time, is stuck in financial distress birthed by sponsorship woes which have seen the most successful soccer club from the ancient city failing to pay player bonuses amid poor training equipment and maladministration.
Tavaruva, an outspoken businessman who operated buses trading under the name Mhunga, was deservedly conferred liberation hero status by Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa when he died aged 84 on May 12, 2020, apparently for the role he played in molding the faded Una Una, as Masvingo United were affectionately called, into an inimitable and famed unit.
But, as the regional Mirror newspaper reported, sponsorship difficulties bedeviling the late Mhunga’s footballing side appear to be a major stumbling block towards the team’s aspirations of bouncing back into the elite Zimbabwe Premier Soccer League.
Now plying its trade in the modest ZIFA Eastern Region Division 1 League, Masvingo United has losty only twice out of the first eight league matches it has thus far played.
Una Una lost to Chiredzi Stars and Buffaloes in away clashes, with the former PSL side currently undefeated at their fortress, Mucheke Stadium.
Club committee member and ex-Caps United player George Charumbira told The Mirror in an interview that the club is struggling financially, resulting in low levels of player morale in the dressing room.
“We have had a good start to the season and our players are motivated. It is our hope that we will make it into the PSL next season after several spirited attempts. We have only tested defeats twice and we attribute this to arriving late for games after our hired combis broke down. Our players did not get enough time to warm up and familiarize themselves with the pitch and this obviously impacted their performance. We are appealing to the business community to chip in and assist us in any way that they can because this is a community team,” Charumbira said.
He said the team currently relies upon handouts from supporters with companies like Byword motors chipping in with jerseys and training equipment. mirror.
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