BULAWAYO-NGEZI Platinum Stars goalkeepers’ coach and former Highlanders player and coach Cosmas “Tsano” Zulu has ripped into Bosso, Zifa and Bulawayo City Council for not according due respect to the late legend Barry Daka.
Daka died at his Barbourfields home on Thursday morning last week at the age of 71 after a short illness and was buried at Lady Stanley Cemetery on Wednesday.
Speaking at Daka’s funeral service on Wednesday, Zulu threw darts at the Highlanders leadership for allegedly denying Daka free entry to the club’s home matches despite having played and coached Bosso.
“Last week, for example, when Highlanders was playing against Chapungu, I went there intending to watch that match, but was refused entry and I left. That’s what they used to do to Barry. He used to beg to watch Highlanders’ games up to the time of his death,” said Zulu.
“I have my friends Lawrence Phiri and Billy Sibanda, who are here. If Phiri is not given a lift to Barbourfields Stadium by Gumede (Ndumiso), he is denied entry yet you the club leadership is there, but you don’t talk about it. Where then is the benefit of being a Highlanders legend?”
He implored the Bosso leadership to approach Premier Soccer League chief executive officer Kennedy Ndebele and ask him to issue the club’s legends with privilege cards because most of the players were produced by the very legends being denied free entry.
However, Highlanders yesterday said match day access accreditation was the domain of the PSL.
“Match access accreditation is the domain of the PSL, who through the PSL assembly set up parameters for such accreditation and implement through its secretariat.
“We are thus, as a member of the PSL assembly, guided by and subservient to its rules and regulations,” said Highlanders in a statement.
Zulu also took a swipe at Zifa for dropping Daka from the travelling party to the 2016 Brazil Olympics after the Mighty Warriors, for whom he was technical advisor, qualified for the sporting extravaganza.
“My friend was a national team coach. He coached all the age groups, but what happens? He coaches the women’s football team and they qualified for the Olympics held in Brazil, but they left him behind and instead gave a flight ticket to someone who prepared tea at the Zifa office,” claimed Zulu. Despite Bulawayo City Council having honoured the late Daka by having him buried at Lady Stanley Cemetery and also availing the Amphitheatre for his funeral service, the municipality did not escape Zulu’s wrath.
“At the city council, my friend worked for 27 years, coached Highlanders and also produced legends, but I note that now someone can become a councillor, say Ward 10 or 11, and after his three-year term, a party is held at City Hall. He is honoured yet you don’t honour a man who has served for 55 years in this city. He dies without being honoured. Is that fair?”
Bulawayo mayor Solomon Mguni said by according Daka burial space at Lady Stanley Cemetery, the local authority had given him a befitting honour based on what he did for the city. “As briefly alluded to by the Bulawayo City FC chairman (Jerry Sibanda), the only honour the city could give to this illustrious son of Bulawayo was burial at Lady Stanley Cemetery. So, we take him as a hero of our time and a hero of this great city. As a city, we thank him for his works in developing sport and as an employee; a dedicated one for that matter,” said Mguni. Chronicle