ZIFA Eastern Region Division One 2019 champions — Tenax FC — who dispelled widespread rumours that they will shift base from Manicaland, say they will not be in the country’s top flight league just to make up numbers.
Tenax finally sealed promotion into next season’s Castle Lager Premiership after a 2-0 triumph over Ruwa Town FC at Chiremba Stadium in Ruwa on Sunday.
Even though the eastern border city does not have functional top-flight league match venue with seemingly endless renovations dragging close to two years at Sakubva Stadium by the local authority, the promotion of Tenax into the Premiership sets the tone for an unprecedented Mutare Premiership derby with Manica Diamonds who are relatively safe from relegation in the current PSL season.
In a fatherly speech made at a function to welcome the team from a three-week long camp in Harare that culminated in their promotion into the top flight league, Tenax FC president as well as Officer Commanding Manicaland ZPCS Senior Assistant Commissioner Didymus Chimvura said Tenax was a truly Mutare project that knows no other home.
“Tenax belongs to Manicaland. It is based here in Manicaland. It was promoted while playing here in Manicaland therefore it remains a Manicaland based club.
“As far as I am concerned I want to assure everybody that the team is based here and here to stay,” he said.
Chimvura said ZPCS will now seriously engage other stakeholders for the speedy completion of Sakubva renovations.
“We now want to seriously engage other stakeholders and ensure that we finish refurbishment of Sakubva Stadium. After all, we were involved in the construction of the precast wall at Sakubva Stadium before construction works stopped.
“We want all our fans and football lovers who cannot travel distances outside Mutare to watch football at Sakubva Stadium,” he said.
In an interview on the sidelines of the welcome reception function hosted for Tenax players upon their return to Mutare, chairman Stefani Masina told Post Sports that his team would not be part of the 2020 Castle Lager Premiership season to make up numbers but to compete favourably.
“We really mean business and this is why we want to start our preparations as soon as possible. We will not waste time and wait until it is too late to start preparations. Yes, we have a lot to learn in PSL but that does not mean we will be punching bags,” he said.
Masina thanked football fans in Mutare and local football followers for standing by the club until the last hour.
He praised the technical department as well as the players for keeping their eyes on the prize.
“This is something we have been fighting for all along and I am happy that we have achieved it after gaining g a lot of experience during our years in Division One. Our coaches and players did a good job and managed to get results even when we least expected.
In Sunday’s final round of Zifa Eastern Region Division fixtures, two goals by Simon Munemero and stocky forward Malvern Dumbura either side of the breather were all that Tenax needed to seal promotion.
Victory over Ruwa took Tenax points tally to 68 while second placed city rivals Buffaloes FC end the season three points less.
The ZPS team, which was formed 10 years ago, came so near yet so far in the nine years they have played in the Zifa Eastern Region Division One League where they ended the season in the top five in those nine years.
After spending one season playing Division Two foot all, Tenax ended the Zifa Eastern Region Division One League in second position two times, four times on third position and finished the season on fourth position on three occasions.