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Revealed: How Zesco lured ‘Calabar’ from Gor Mahia

Officials from Zesco United applied a combination of the club’s financial power and knowledge of the Fifa rules and regulations on transfer of players, to easily swoop for defensive kingpin David ‘Calabar’ Owino, a move that caught the player’s parent club flat-footed.

The Kenya international has since completed a lucrative move to the Zambian champions early this week, much to the delight of the club’s CEO Justin Mumba.

“We have captured a quality player from the East African region, one that will significantly improve on our chances of winning the African Champions League,” Mumba said at Owino’s unveiling on Monday.

Nairobi News has since traced the steps Zambians leading to this transfer.

The Ndola town based outfit identified Owino as replacement for another defender, Nyambe Mulenga, who fractured his right leg in a road accident involving the club bus mid last month.


However, the Zambian contingent led by Mumba, having done their background check on Owino and discovering that the player only had six months to run on his contract, cheekily bid their time until December 31, 2014 to formally inform Gor Mahia in writing of their interest.

By that time, Gor Mahia were almost powerless to prevent the player from leaving because only hours later at the turn of the new year, Owino would be allowed by Fifa rules to negotiate a contract with other teams without notifying his employer.

In the end, Gor Mahia had to give way by accepting a bid in the region of $15,000 (Sh 1.4 million) to release the player.

Owino meanwhile signed a lucrative contract worth $20,000 (Sh 1.8 million) in sign on fees, and will receive a monthly salary/allowance in the region of Sh 600,000 depending on the number of competitive matches he helps his team win.

In addition, the Harambee Stars defender will also be provided with a fully furnished 2 bedroom apartment by the club and three return air tickets for himself and his dependents each season during his two year deal.