Be Forward Wanderers’ weakness of failing to keep in check players’ egos has been exposed following the resignation of two key players within three days over the TNM Super League champions’ captaincy.
First it was Esau Kanyenda, who resigned on Monday after clashing with captain Joseph Kamwendo over the armband.
This was Kanyenda’s second resignation after he also asked to leave the club three weeks ago only to reverse the decision.
In his latest resignation, the striker avoided the subject at hand, saying he needed to exit and do other things.
But evidence on the ground shows that there is a fall-out between the former Polokwane City striker and Kamwendo.
In a clip leaked to the media, Kamwendo is heard vowing to retire if he loses the captaincy.
“Ma players ena mukumenya campaign yoti ine andichotse ukaputeni [Some players are on a campaign to have me stripped of the captaincy]. Kaputeni ayenera kukhala m’modz i[There can only be one captain].
“Ndiye zomwe mukapangazi a china doctor ndikumva koma choti mudziwe Mamba alibe history ya timuyi kuti akhale kaputeni [I know what is happening, but you should know that [Black] Mamba [Kanyenda] does not have much history with the club. Ife history kutimuyi tilinayo [I have a rich history with the club],” Kamwendo says in the clip.
Now Kamwendo has asked the club to allow him to leave, just some hours after management fired him as captain and named his former deputy Alfred Manyozo Jnr as skipper.
Just like Kanyenda, this was also Kamwendo’s second resignation at Wanderers.
Last season he quit Wanderers and was pictured being welcomed at Masters Security before making a U-turn.
In an interview yesterday, Kamwendo’s manager Innocent Mkweweka confirmed that the player had quit because the manner in which the former Flames captain has been stripped of the captaincy is unbearable.
“There could be no problem if there were proper handovers of the captaincy. To say the truth, it was not on to be replaced in such a manner,” he said.
Wanderers have continued to skirt around the issue of its players’ indiscipline although there are telltale signs of gross indiscipline.
Apart from the Kanyenda- Kamwendo saga, another senior player, Jaffalie Chande, went AWOL (absent without leave) three weeks ago and wants out as well.
But even after firing Kamwendo as captain, club chairperson Gift Mkandawire said the move had nothing to do with the scandals rocking the club, saying it was just a coincidence.
“After Kamwendo took over the captaincy from Francis Mlimbika midway through the 2017 season, it was clearly indicated that he would be the leader up to the end of that season. Therefore, it was already in our plans to make the changes this year,” he said.
Yet there is also evidence of Kamwendo having clashed with Mlimbika over the captaincy.
Mlimbika, once one of the Flames’ outstanding left-backs, has since been sidelined from action at Wanderers, a development the player attributed to Kamwendo’s influence on coach Yasin Osman.
On the players’ resignation, Mkandawire stressed that both are still in the team’s plans.
He, however, blamed the media for making an issue out of Wanderers’ internal wrangles.
But veteran journalist Peter Makosa said the media have all the reason to hound the Nomads.
He said: “There is nothing like a ‘little move’ for a club of such big magnitude as the Nomads. We will continue to put anything that has people’s interest under the microscope.
“As a prominent football club, Wanderers attract attention no matter how little. Our job as the media is to report issues as they unfold and as to whether the issue is minor or major, let the targeted audience, in this case the readers and football fanatics alike, decide.”
Former Nyasa Big Bullets general secretary Higger Mkandawire also advised the Nomads to put their house in order to avoid media attention.
“It’s normal, just go ahead and sort out your issues.”