Malawi attacker Zicco Mkanda has become one of the most expensive Mozambique Mocambola League signings after sealing a $35 000 (K5.9 million) two-year deal with Liga Maculmana from Ferroviaro de Beira.
Mkanda is among four Malawian players who have clinched deals in the Mozambique league. They monthly earn not less than $300 (K50 000). Average monthly player upkeep in Malawi is as low as K10 000.
“I signed a two-year deal that goes until December 2013 at $35 000. They approached me in June last year to join them, but Ferroviaro de Beira refused to sell me, so I waited for the end of the season,” said the former Escom Reserves player.
In a telephone interview on Monday, Maculmana chairperson Rafiq Seedat said he was impressed with Mkanda who netted seven goals playing as an attacking midfielder at Beira, “but I cannot tell you the transfer fee.”
Mkanda seems to have replaced Flames first-choice goalkeeper Simplex Nthala, who recently quit Maculmana telling The Nation that he was frustrated with the Maputo outfit for standing in his way to South AfricaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Santos.
“I terminated my three-year contract at Maculmana and signed a two-year deal with Clube Vilanculus which is based in Nhambane Province just outside Maputo,” Nthala said through e-mail on Friday.
At Beira, former Escom midfielder Chikondi Likwemba has filled MkandaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s boots after signing for them during the week. Mkanda oiled the move to Beira who also have two Tanzanians and Nigerians.
“I have signed yearÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s contract. I cannot disclose the sign-on fee, but it is not a bad one. The salary and benefits are so tempting. If I play 70 percent of first round games I will get something. You cannot compare with Malawi teamsÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ perks,” Likwemba, who also played in South Africa and Zimbabwe, said on Monday.
Meanwhile, Wanderers players Diverson Chilemba and Bongani Kaipa are attending trials at Ferroviaro de Nampula, hoping to link up with compatriots Sankhani Nyirenda and Emmanuel Chipatala.
The duo are unhappy at Ferroviaro and could return, according to Wanderers vice-general secretary Richard Kambalame.
The former Flames winger-turned-left-back, Chipatala has now changed clubs in the past two consecutive years. He left Maxaquene last season for Majedje only to dump them for Ferroviaro after they got relegated last season.
Ranked 105 against 99 for Malawi, Mozambique is home to 11 Malawian players including Dangalira Mlelemba, Gerald Mkungula, Alick Lihuhu (HCB de Songo), Lewis Minjale, Clement Kamangire (Chingale de Tete) and Rawland Zulu (Textil de Pungue).
Mozambique-based players complain that Flames coach Kinnah Phiri ignores them when it comes to call-ups, but FAM secretary general Suzgo Nyirenda recently said the Mozambique legion would be considered for the February 29 Chad game in the 2013 Nations Cup qualifiers.