Ray Bande, Senior Reporter
NEWLY promoted Castle Lager Premiership outfit Tenax FC are not being distracted by rumours that their franchise is being sold to TelOne and have since started interviewing prospective candidates for the club’s technical department as the correctional services side goes ahead with pre-season preparations.
The Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services (ZPCS) this week strongly refuted claims that they had sold Tenax FC franchise to TelOne as baseless, malicious and mischievous.
Football fans in Manicaland were riled by news that TelOne will bounce back into the top flight league for this year’s edition after successfully acquiring a top-flight franchise from Tenax FC who won promotion from the Zifa Eastern region last year.
However, Tenax FC chairman told Post Sport that they are going ahead with their preseason preparations.
“We are going ahead with our PSL pre-season preparations and as we speak we have had some interviews with some prospective members of our technical department.
“We will not be demoralised by the negativity coming from those who hate brand Tenax.
We are growing up as a brand and we have seen similar challenges on our way to PSL.
We actually take them as lessons,” he said.
Although the Tenax boss could not divulge the identity of those interviewed for professional reasons, Post Sport has it on good authority that former Tanganda midfield genius Joseph “Shabba” Takaringofa headlines the list of those interviewed.
Former Buffaloes coach Shadreck Mugurasave, former Gaza Gunners and Green Fuels gaffer Chasten Ngondonga and James Muhala are also among the shortlist.
In his response to rumours that the team was selling the franchise, ZPCS national sports officer Richard Tarangei said: “I am equally shocked by news circulating to the effect that the organisation (ZPCS) has sold the Tenax FC franchise.
At a time that Tenax FC are busy preparing for the forthcoming season some sections, for unknown reasons, found it prudent to destabilise the team by circulating falsehoods.
“All I know is that Tenax FC are going to play in the top-flight league.
That is the position that I have.
“If anything latest comes from management we will duly and professionally inform the public not through rumours.
“All I can say is the two teams — Tenax and Whawha — are going to play. No franchise is on sale.”
The article, which quoted unnamed sources and published by a local private newspaper, alleges that lack of resources has driven the ZPCS to dispose of one of their two franchises in the top-flight after WhaWha was also promoted from the Zifa Central Region.
The article further purports that the correctional services institution would still have been forced to relinquish one spot in the top division as rules do not allow them to own two teams in the same league.
However, not so long ago in 2015, Flame Lily played in the same top flight season with fellow Correctional Services side WhaWha.
In fact, towards the end of that season, Flame Lily lost the battle to stay up when they were restricted by WhaWha at Ascot Stadium when Flame Lilly needed nothing short of victory to enhance their mathematical chance of remaining in the Premiership.
Army teams Chapungu, Buffaloes or Black Rhinos have played in the top flight league during the same season on numerous occasions, including last year when Chapungu and Rhinos were part of the Premiership.