Left back Godfrey Walusimbi has lifted lid on his abrupt end with PSL side Kaizer Chiefs.
Jajja Walu, as commonly called in Uganda, saw his time in South Africa come to an end in January 2019 just few months since signing for the club on October 2018.
The defender had signed a three-year deal with Kaizer Chiefs from Kenyan side Gor Mahia.
Wazza (another Walusimbi nickname) says that drama started with an injury to Chiefs goalkeeper Itumuleng Khune which necessitated the club to pursue a replacement.
“Khune got injured and he was going to be out for some months. So, they had to sign a goalkeeper and they opted for a foreigner who was at Chippa. However, with no foreign slot available, they had to remove one foreigner to make way for the incoming keeper,” Walusimbi said in an interview with Safari Soccer.
“After the Sundowns game, in which I only played the first half, I was not given a chance again. They knew what they were doing, I still had a running contract, so by benching me, they knew that I would get frustrated so that I can accept whatever they would bring on table.
“Two weeks from the end of the window, they signed a young left back from their academy.
“I remember Onyango (Denis) called me to ask me about my ongoing situation with the club, but I told him that whatever Kaizer Chiefs is planing, they should not keep me in the dark.”
The club set eyes on Nigerian goalkeeper at Chippa United Daniel Akpei, however, there were no remaining slots for foreigners at the club.
The law prohibits a South African club from acquiring more than five foreign players.
Hence, Kaizer Chiefs opted to send Wazza on loan to Chippa United to free up space for the Nigerian keeper.
Wazza adds: “It was until the last day of the window when the manager called me. He told me that ‘we want to send you on loan so that we create space for the new goalkeeper.”‘
“But the club had another option of offloading a certain striker who had just three months to the end of his contract and had missed plenty of games. The manager explained to me that it was the coach who made the decision but I knew it was a lie.
“I talked with my management about it but they feared, may be thinking that Chiefs is a Barcelona.
“Chiefs told me to come back at 3pm, I remember the new goalkeeper was even there and the Chippa officials. I told that face to face that I was not joining their team.
“I asked Chiefs to deregister me so that I can remain at the club training until June so that I can be added again, but they refused saying that I should go out on loan so that I can also get more playing time.
“I was furious at the time, and I even told them that I can even retire. They thought that I was a villager because you can’t wait on a final day and tell someone that he is going out on loan. They had planned their stuff for the whole January behind my back.
“I asked them to cancel my contract, and I would not even ask for compensation. They said that they couldn’t let me go because they had spend much money on me and would need 100m rands if I terminated my contract. They put up a situation so that it appears that I am the one who is terminating the contract.”
Wazza later returned to Uganda. “I was fed up. We later had to pay 20,000 Dollars (around Sh70m) for my release.
The defender, who has since announced his international retirement, started out at SC Villa.
He was one of the most known figures at the Uganda Cranes and a long serving member.
“There were many challenging issues but serving the nation for a long period is achievable and it all goes back to self management,” Walusimbi adds.
“You have to maintain your fitness, self motivation and your discipline must be Paramount.”
Walusimbi was part of the Cranes squad that played at the 2017 and 2019 AFCON finals in Gabon and Egypt respectively.
“It was a great feeling to play at AFCON. We had missed in 2012 I remember after Kenya denied us the chance on the last day but qualifying for the 2017 AFCON tourney was a dream come true.
“We had spent over 38 years, Uganda had last played at AFCON in 1978, I wasn’t born by then, so the country had patiently waited for that moment.”
In Egypt, Uganda managed to qualify out of the groups.
Prior to the knockout game against Senegal, the players staged a striker over unpaid salaries.
The rock-solid defender says that players have limited active time so they have to maximise it well.
He explained: “We sacrifice a lot as players, we throw away our daily life so that we can fulfil what is required of us as professional footballers. So, I get annoyed when a club mistreats you or refuses to pay you. If am not paid, I can even undress myself.”
Walusimbi also revealed that his management has held talks with Police FC and if an agreement is reached, he will join the Uganda Premier League side.
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