Warriors manager Wellington Mpandare has called on the Zimbabwean media to rally behind embattled Kaizer Chiefs forward Khama Billiat, who is supposedly under attack by the South African media.
The talented forward has struggled to replicate the form he displayed at Mamelodi Sundowns and Mpandare believes some of the reports about the star are meant to incite Chiefs’ fans to turn against the player.
Mpandare said some of the reports portray Billiat as a mercenary that only went to Amakhosi to make a fortune without any passion to serve the interests of the club.
He is convinced most of the criticism appears driven by malice, “with some people finding it difficult to reconcile with the fact that a Zimbabwean could be the highest paid footballer in the South African Premiership”.
“It’s very clear that Khama is being targeted and there is nothing really that he can do right at the moment because a negative angle has to be sought and highlighted all the time,” Mpandare told The Herald.
“It’s been some kind of a pattern since he joined Kaizer Chiefs with some people seemingly unhappy with the deal, which his management team secured for him.”
Mpandare has called on the Zimbabwean media to start rallying behind Billiat instead of consuming and spreading the lop-sided narrative being peddled by some South African journalists.
“I believe he deserves to be supported by our Zimbabwean media because he is a key member of the Warriors and has demonstrated, now and again, that he can deliver for his country.
“He has been outstanding for us in all the qualifiers for the last two Afcon tournaments we have played. He scored the only goal we got in Egypt and played at a very high level,” Mpandare said.
Meanwhile, Bulawayo-based sportscaster Thandazani Zimbwa has described Mpandare’s request as hypocritical. He said it was quite strange “because in Egypt Khama was so arrogant to Zimbabwean journalists”.
“He embarrassed us in front of foreign media, boldly telling us that he does not speak to local (Zimbabwe) media. Suddenly he is in trouble at his club the same journalists he snubbed must now support him. What hypocrisy! Worse still all this took place right in front of Mpandare.”
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By Mthokozisi Dube