KAMPALA- Godfrey Walusimbi was going about his business at Kaizer Chiefs when club bosses called him to office on January transfer deadline day.
This was about midday, he said. In the same environs was reportedly Chippa United 32-year old goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi and his representatives.
Kaizer Chiefs were enduring goalkeeping problems with Namibia keeper Virgil Vries struggling and first choice Itumeleng Khune injured.
Akpeyi was apparently the man supposed to address these ills and this was the last day for that to happen. But there was a small problem. Chiefs five foreign players quota had filled up and they had to get a sacrificial lamb.
Around the same time, they had promoted youngster Happy Mashiane, who was expected to compete with Siphosakhe Ntiya-Ntiya in the left-back position.
So the choice, in Chiefs eyes, was clear who was going to create room to allow in goalkeeper Akpeyi.
“They told me that because I’m a national team player, I needed to get playing time and therefore I should allow and go to Chippa United on loan,” Walusimbi explained to Sunday Monitor this week.
The defender, who had signed a three-year contract with Chiefs towards the end of last year, has been training with the Cranes at Lugogo ahead of this weekend’s final 2019 Nations Cup qualifier away to Tanzania.
“This was on the last day of transfers. I asked them why they didn’t tell me early enough for me to prepare myself because they knew this was their plan all along.”
According to the club, he said, this was an emergency situation only manifesting fully the night before, something Walusimbi struggles to believe.
On their Twitter handle, Chiefs said “The player has opted to go back home to Uganda. We would like to thank Godfrey for his contribution to Kaizer Chiefs and wish him all the best.”
Walusimbi, 29, reportedly made a few calls to his representatives and decided against going to Chippa United since he questioned whether Chippa themselves guenuinely needed his services.
His refusal to cross to Chippa in a swap is said to have angered Chiefs hierarchy but the player had made up his mind.
“I just decided to come back home and work alone as I awaited another opportunity,” he said. No payment was made to the player since it is considered that it’s him who terminated the contract. “I just wanted to be free.”
The development, in January, was such a blow to Walusimbi – who was looking forward to building up moment ahead of the tie against Tanzania. But he is a big boy.
“It didn’t break me,” he told this newspaper, “I just came back home and continued to work hard and good enough the coach (Sebastien Desabre) knows my qualities and here I am. I’m hungrier than ever.”