Garthly Chipuka

The cop who ‘handcuffed’ PSL big boys

Fungai Muderere
One of the seasona��s greatest finds is a policeman who has claimed the scalps of some of the greatest footballing minds in the Premier Soccer League (PSL).

It is not an everyday scenario that a policeman leaves the charge office to spend 90 minutes with a bunch of footballers who dream of being Premiership champions.

Meet Constable Garthly Chipuka whose day starts with the usual perusing of criminal charge sheets. He has to fetch out suspects and at times to face gory crime scenes. By end of day, he trades the grey and blue uniform for his sport kit on his way to his second job.

He has two taxing jobs and Bulawayo Chiefs leadership is not perturbed at all. Actually they appreciate that the team is in the good hands of a State policeman.

a�?The fact that he has two jobs to juggle is not an issue with us. He makes his arrangements and all I can say is that he goes and comes to coach Bulawayo Chiefs and we understand him. Chipuka and his assistants rolled out a plan and we actually engaged his seniors (Zimbabwe Republic Police) on this kind of arrangement,a�? said Bulawayo Chiefs secretary Dumisani Sibanda.

Chipuka is a police officer who is about to complete his fourth year in the profession, as a Constable. Now based at Bulawayo Central Police after shifting base from Harare, on 3 June, Chipuka and his charges first a�?handcuffeda�? Ngezi Platinuma��s Tonderayi Ndiraya to a 1-0 defeat courtesy of a captain Gracious Muleyaa��s penalty strike.

On 21 April, Chipuka and his PremierA� Soccer League debutants pulled anotherA� shocker when they handed champions FC Platinum their first defeat of the season with two first half goals in a match that was played at Luveve Stadium.

And their giant killing act continued and legendary Madinda Ndlovu was to be the next victim. On 10 June Bulawayo Chiefs underlined their tag as a�?giant killersa�? by claiming the scalp of 10-man Highlanders.

By beating Bosso, Chiefs became the first side to school the top three teams at the time. Bosso are now on position six, with eight wins, five draws and four losses.

a�?The little incentives that our players get keep them going. That big game temerity has also seen us beat the so called big clubs. However, we will not read much into that, a win is a win,a�? said Chipuka who once worked with Bulawayo Chiefs fitness trainer Thulani a�?Thutsa�? Sibanda at the now defunct Black Mambas, a police outfit that was based in the capital.

Interestingly, Sibanda, also juggles his cuffs with the demands of Bulawayo ChiefsA� technical team.

Sibanda is also a police officer who guided Bulawayo Chiefs to their premiership promotion last year but because he does not have the mandatory Caf A qualification he was reassigned to the position of fitness trainer by the powers that be at Chiefs.