Ray Bande Senior Sports Reporter
FORMER Young Warriors team manager, Lloyd Chinawa – who was Willard Katsande’s manager before the player moved to South Africa – is a bitter man after he recently paid bills in Mutare for the player only to struggle to recover his money when he arrived in Jo’burg last week.
The former national Under-17 squad and Highway FC team manager poured his heart out in an exclusive interview as he narrated the ordeal he went through in South Africa last week when he was stranded as he failed to locate Katsande upon arrival in Jo’burg as initially agreed before he left Zimbabwe. Mutare-based Chinawa said he felt betrayed by a player he not only managed as a budding star, but took good care of his welfare and that of his family when life was not yet so rosy for the Kaizer Chiefs’ anchorman.
“I had plans to go to South Africa for some business deals I had arranged with a partner based in that country. I decided to get in touch with Willard Katsande as my young man whom I knew from way back to let him know I would be visiting that country.
“I also contacted him so that probably I would get South African rands easily in exchange for about US$580 I wanted to use in South Africa.
“Katsande then told me that I could give his relative here in Mutare the US$580 then collect the money in rands upon arrival in South Africa. I gave his young brother that money.
“I communicated with Katsande from the time I left Mutare up until my arrival in Jo’burg on Wednesday last week.
“Things started to change when I arrived last Wednesday. The boy suddenly became too busy to communicate with me.
“I was given accommodation by the person whom I wanted to have business deals with on the understanding that I would meet Katsande the next day (last Thursday) and get the money we were supposed to use. Katsande was nowhere to be found on Thursday. On Friday he still could not communicate with me,” said the soft-spoken Chinawa. The former Highway FC team manager said he was stranded in South Africa after failing to meet Katsande as agreed before his departure from Zimbabwe.
“The person who had given me accommodation lost patience. In the few messages that he bothered to respond last Thursday and Friday, Katsande would direct me to certain places he said we would meet but he did not show up. I was suddenly stranded as I had used the money I had in hiring taxis to places that Katsande was directing me to go but could not find him.
“I had no choice but to contact someone I know from Mutare but now based in South Africa. That is the person who then gave me 600 South African rands enough for food and transport back home.
“I had no choice but to go to Park Station to board a bus back home and that was now on Saturday. I had to apologise to Katsande and even told him to forgive me if I had wronged him in any way to deserve such treatment,” he said. Katsande finally showed up at Park Station where he made a 6 000 rands payment.
Chinawa, who was Kastande’s personal manager at the now defunct Highway FC and later at Gunners FC in Harare before the player moved to Ajax Cape Town FC, sensationally claimed that he it was himwho even secured the passport that the Kaizer Chiefs’ player is still using.
“I could not believe that this was happening to me. I could not believe my eyes when Katsande eventually came at Park Station on Saturday when I was about to leave with his hands in his pocket, accompanied by a certain female person I did not know, boastfully approaching me and claiming that I wanted to milk him.
“He told me right in my face that he had nothing to do with me anymore. He said past is past and he is now so rich that he can never be broke again. He told me that together with Binali Yard (owner of the now defunct Highway FC) I want to take advantage of him and that is why he is no longer talking to Yard.
“I just could not believe that this is the same person I paid a passport for, I mean the passport he is currently using. I just could not believe that this is the same person I used to provide for and his family as he started his career. Katsande eventually made the 6 000 rands payment begrudgingly before I left. That guy is hard hearted and May God continue to richly bless him for what he did to me,” said Chinawa.
However, when contacted for comment the former Warriors skipper said he owed Chinawa nothing and he only disagreed with the amount Chinawa wanted from him for the US$580 he gave his brother here in Zimbabwe.
Katsande conceded that he made a mistake by taking long to see Chinawa upon his arrival in Jo’burg.
“I think I was wrong in failing to meet him upon his arrival in South Africa as we had agreed. However, where on this earth have you ever heard that US$580 is worth 10 000 South African rands? I never treated him badly at all. He asked for a favour from me since there is a cash crisis in Zimbabwe.
“I do not know the reason he wanted 10 000 rands from me. I don’t know why he is reporting this to you. Maybe he wants you to write a story, I don’t know. I even told him that I can even pay back his US$580 through EcoCash in Zimbabwe because I have about $30 000 in my account in Zimbabwe. After all, he had given my brother US$580 through EcoCash and you and I know the current cash crisis in Zimbabwe which attracts some 20 percent charges on EcoCash transactions for cash.
“I never said people from Mutare want to take advantage of me. I said it to him that ‘please manager do not try to take advantage’. I never brought anybody’s name into it.
“In a normal world, what kind of rate that gives someone 10 000 rands for US$480? That is ridiculous. The same Chinawa I brought him here last year to watch our Black Label match I paid for his tickets and booked him into a hotel for two nights and today someone says I conned them. I have lost respect for him. He is acting like a b****. Come on, tell him he is a joke,” said Katsande.
Chinawa, however, said he talked about the 10 000 rands as a joke but he only wanted the actual exchange rate amount he had given to Katsande’s relative in rands.