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Zambian striker stranded for 9 hours at Renkini

Raymond Jaravaza
ALL in the name of greener pastures!

Zambian striker Trust Gomezani Mkandawire learnt the hard way that the grass is not always greener on the other side after he was left stranded at Renkini Bus Terminus for nine hours by Premier Soccer League champions Chicken Inn’s officials.

Having endured a gruelling 15 hours on the road travelling well over 1 200 kilometres, the Gamecocks trialist arrived in Bulawayo last week on Friday morning around 9am but was given the run around by Chicken Inn officials who promised to fetch him but had not done so at 4.30pm.

When B-Metro Sport caught up with the player at the long distance bus facility in the city, a visibly tired Mkandawire said he had been in touch with a Gamecocks official who kept making empty promises to fetch him until the Zambian’s cellphone battery ran out of power.

“I got here (bus terminus) at 9am and one of the club officials said he was on his way to pick me up. I’m very tired but I will wait,” said Mkandawire while carrying his bag and a bottle of water.

The Zambian left his home town of Kitwe on Thursday morning and travelled 835 kilometres to Livingstone enduring slightly more than 10-and-a-half hours on the road.

But the journey was not yet over.

From Livingstone he headed to Bulawayo adding another 450 kilometres, a journey that takes another five hours by bus.

This publication has it on good authority that the Zambian was eventually fetched from Renkini Bus Terminus just before 6pm by a junior Gamecocks official.

But Chicken Inn chairman Lifa Ncube vehemently denied that the player was stranded when sought for comment.

“That is not true at all. As a club we were aware of his travel arrangements and I’m hearing it for the first time that the player was left stranded. He is training with the team,” said Ncube.

The striker spent the last half of 2015 playing for African Stars in Namibia following a stint with Power Dynamos in his home country.

Mkandawire scored nine goals in 14 appearances for African Stars last year.

The unheralded striker was spotted by Chicken Inn coach Joey Antipas and trained with the team in Ndola during their tour of Zambia last month. If he impresses the Gamecocks technical team, the Zambian is expected to provide cover for some Chicken Inn players that have attracted interest from a number of South African clubs.

Winger Edmore Chirambadare and Mitchelle Katsvairo, who play in positions that Mkandawire is reportedly comfortable in, caught the attention of South African clubs Mamelodi Sundowns and SuperSport United when Chicken played in the second leg of the African Champions League against Sundowns in Pretoria a fortnight ago.