Player unrest looms at Bulawayo Chiefs ahead of Chibuku Super Cup defence; club owner raises winning bonuses in fire fighting attempt

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Chibuku Super Cup reigning champions BULAWAYO Chiefs are moments from imploding, players are reportedly planning to boycott the club’s Chibuku Super Cup clash against Highlanders over unpaid allowances, wages and embarrassingly low salaries.

By Bhora Afrika

Not even an attempt by club owner Lovemore Sibanda to lift players’ spirits by announcing a 50% bonus hike found takers on Tuesday. None of those who received the news clapped as the pause in his speech seemed to have expected.

The players are owed three months salaries, having only been paid their April dues a week ago.

Sibanda, who is into mining, told his team he will not be taking their Chibuku Super Cup run lightly, hence the move to hike winning bonuses from US$100 to US$150.

This according to sources within the club, is despite not having paid last year’s winning bonuses after clinching the premier cup.

Some of the players he owes have now left Amakhosi for more stable outfits.

The club, which recently lost a key cog in Coach Lizwe Sweswe, might also lose new saviour Joseph Sibindi as a result of poor administration and remuneration.

Players have complained of salaries which are as low as US$50 for some.

The hike announced by Sibanda is with effect from this Sunday when they face Highlanders in their first round clash.

“He (Sibanda) visited the boys at training today (Tuesday) and told them he is raising winning bonus in the Chibuku Cup competition to US$150 from US$100 they have been getting during league matches,” said a source at Amakhosi.

Bulawayo Chiefs are the defending champions having won by a goal to nil in last season’s final against Herentals at Barbourfields Stadium.

“Players are yet to receive last year’s share of the Chibuku Cup. The club had promised to reward players with a good amount of money if they win the cup.

“When the boys won, they expected to get paid part of the prize money as agreed on before. However, the club did not fulfill it’s promise. It’s bad though,” said another concerning last year’s bonuses on condition of anonymity.

Efforts to force Bulawayo Chiefs’ hand through the Footballers Union of Zimbabwe (FUZ) have been fruitless.

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