AN ill-advised move to act as leader of the pack allegedly blew up in Madinda Ndlovu’s face, costing him a life-changing move that would have made him the first Zimbabwean to play in the English topflight.
The startling allegation was made by veteran sports administrator Ndumiso Gumede in a video interview with Center For Innovation and Technology (CITE)’s Ctvzw online streaming network early this week.
Gumede claimed that Ndlovu led a walk out by senior players at the Bulawayo giants in 1986 forcing his paymasters to withhold a recommendation for the move.
“1986 was a beautiful year for Highlanders but it did not start well. We had played our pre-season games against the likes of Hwange and ahead of our first game of the season against Gweru United, players staged a strike with Madinda leading senior players who wanted to be paid for trips they had made to Lesotho and Swaziland at the end of 1985,” said Gumede.
He added: “We actually told them we took them for holiday and the fans that we had travelled with had paid for the trips so they also needed to pay. While they insisted (players) we told Coach Barry Daka to look for other players and we drew 2-2.
“However, they senior players started trooping back including Madinda himself. But I sometimes feel guilty because that was the year when Sheffield Wednesday approached us needing Madinda’s recommendation and I refused to do that and the deal never materialised. It all spoilt his imminent move to the club,” said Gumede.
Gumede did not answer or return calls from B-Metro.
Ndlovu argued otherwise.
“I never led a strike at Highlanders. I was never called for a hearing. Actually, all that I know is that a guy by the name Dumisani Vuma facilitated my move to Sheffield Wednesday and Highlanders as an institution actually know what happened and that is the reason why they compensated me with a move to Germany,” he said.
Ndlovu moved to a Division One German club in 1989 called Emsdetten 05. He joined together with his then teammates Tito Paketh and the late Willard “Mashinkila” Khumalo.
Ndlovu, who has had coaching stints in Botswana and with the senior national team, is currently Bosso’s technical manager.
With the help of his lieutenants Mandla “Lulu” Mpofu and Tembo Chuma they completed the Bosso’s rebuilding exercise that saw the former champions parade some young football gems that include Brian Banda, Denzel Khumalo, Godfrey Makaruse, MacClive Phiri, Tinashe Makanda, Andrew Mbeba and Mbongeni Ndlovu in a season they ended on position five.