By Enock Muchinjo
CHAMPIONS Caps United’s bid to sign two Malawian players, national team captain Peter Mponda and teenage sensation Joseph Kamwendo, looks likely to hit a snag due to a prohibitive tra
nsfer fee and ownership wrangle.
Malawian club giants Bakili Bullets have placed a K5 million (about $275 million) tag on Mponda while Kamwendo is embroiled in a transfer wrangle involving three top clubs in that country, IndependentSport has learnt.
Caps chairman Andy Hodges said this week that club president Twine Phiri, who was recently on a business trip in Malawi, was going to engage Malawian football authorities over Mponda’s fee.
Caps want to negotiate for Mponda’s release at a nominal fee, which Bullets say is impossible.
Bullets vice-secretary Ibrahim Patel was quoted in the Malawian press as saying Caps wanted to take Mponda for free and pay Bullets a commission later after selling the player to Europe should the chance arise.
“That is not the way any club gets a player and if they (Caps United) want to get Mponda that way, I’m afraid it may not work,” Patel said.
He said Bullets were likely to insist on the fee because of the high value they attached to Mponda. Raising $275 million could be a huge task for Caps, who grossed only $170 million from winning the league championship, Buddie Challenge Cup and Zifa Unity Cup last year.
Kamwendo, the other Malawian targeted by Caps in their efforts to assemble a strong squad for their continental campaign this year, is in the middle of a transfer scam between Silver Stikers, Civo and MTL Wanderers.
The High Court in Lilongwe has summoned the four parties involved although the date for hearing the case is yet to be set.
Caps have already included Kamwendo in their squad for the preliminary rounds of the African Champions League, while Mponda was in the country towards the end of last season and trained with the Green Machine.
However, Kamwendo’s availability for the Green Machine remains shrouded in doubt until his case is finalised.
Caps, who ruled the roost on the local scene last season and achieved a record treble, face Lesotho Defence Forces in the first round of the African Champions League at the end of this month.