Anticlimactic ZUSA Games for BUSE

News Notice Board Sports Academy

In what will go down as the most anticlimactic episode in Bindura University of Science Education’s (BUSE) sporting history, the 2024 Zimbabwe University Sports Association (ZUSA) Cluster One Games ended in a near-miss fashion at the Midlands State University.

Buoyed by last year’s improved performances, expectations were high for BUSE’s ball game teams. The University authorities even set up a two-week training camp for the teams to ensure maximum preparations and all signs pointed to a gold-medal-laden cluster 1 games.

Much was expected of the men’s basketball team, volleyball, netball, and soccer teams. The events of May 2 to May the 5th left the University sporting community bewildered, to say the least. In the end, the Institution left the games with a silver medal in men’s table tennis and two bronze medals from the men’s basketball and ladies’ volleyball teams.



The men’s basketball team, the Panthers, has been the pride of BUSE’s sports teams in recent years. The team conquered Southern African collegiate sports in 2022 and was honored by His Excellency, the President Cde Dr Emmerson Mnangagwa at the 2023 Presidential Sports Awards Ceremony for their exploits. They were hand-picked to participate in the 2023 Ekat World University Championships because of their dominant performance. Suffice to say, much was expected of the Panthers.

As usual, the boys breezed through their group opponents and set a grudge match against perennial rivals the University of Zimbabwe (UZ) Stars in the semis. The match kicked off with the Panthers dominating the Stars with their impressive power plays and aggressive attack of the basket. They led by 10 points at half-time and it seemed they would routinely see the match through.

The UZ Stars demonstrated the power of brains over brawn. Playing fundamental defensive basketball, they maximized their chances to close the 10-point gap to just a point. The BUSE Panthers choked. With every odd in their favour, the boys retched victory. With 10 seconds left on the clock, a 1-point lead, and with possession, the Panthers failed to close the game. They committed an offensive foul which led to the UZ Stars forcing overtime and BUSE failing to handle the consequent pressure.

The Panthers lost by 2 points after overtime and only got a consoling bronze medal in their third and fourth playoff against NUST.


Very little was expected of the ladies team. Over the years they had failed to come out of the group stages and had often been the tourney’s weeping team. However, this year the ladies proved that hard work trumps raw talent every time.

They finished top of their group with two wins and two draws and booked a semi-final ticket against UZ.

Despite falling and also failing to win a medal in the end, the lady Panthers left MSU having earned the respect of all. They exceeded all expectations and showed their male counterparts that smart work trumps raw talent always. Brains over brawn.


The BUSE Lions prowled the Chaplin High School grounds seeking the elusive gold medal and a ticket to the 2024 Zimbabwe Tertiary Sports Union (ZTISU) games. They had won bronze in the 2023 edition and now they sought the elusive gold medal.

Controversially, the team was not seeded and was pitted against defending champions MSU, Reformed Church University (RCU), and newbies Marondera University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology (MUAST).

The boys sent shockwaves among perennial heavyweights with their slick passing and intelligent movement. Their flawless movement ensured that they finished second in their group but level on point with MSU.

Their draw against MSU was laden with much controversy. BUSE scored in the opening minutes of the match with MSU scoring a controversial penalty in the closing stages of the match. In the quarter-finals, the Lions needed a penalty shootout win to see off a resilient Harare Institute of Technology (HIT).

Like the Panthers, the Lions choked in the semis. They failed to see off an organized NUST in regular time and the match was decided on penalties. NUST needed only 3 penalties to see off the Lions who failed to convert any of their 4 kicks.

Tino ‘Gratie’ Majasi failed to convert a seater in the game against MUAST

With the UZ booting out MSU in their quarter-final clash, BUSE was expected to waltz into the finals and give the UZ a real run for the gold medal. Alas, the Lions failed to win any medal with GZU thumping them in the bronze medal match.

The Lions this year were all drama with zero bite.


If fashion won medals, the University’s netball team would have been given gold. The ladies wore their personalized attire and sent shockwaves throughout the courts. They exuded confidence and they had the talent to back it. Maybe, the inexperience of the majority first-year students occluded victory for the ladies. Only time will tell. The ladies valiantly led for much of their opening match against MSU. It was only in the final quarter when the wheels became undone.

They failed to hold on to a 6-point lead and stumbled to a two-point defeat. Shell shocked, the girls failed to rally themselves against GZU and fell again. This defeat meant they were out of the tourney and that was a reality the team could not stomach. Tears streamed down their cheeks and at some point, the atmosphere in the bus resembled a funeral.

Maybe the pain of defeat will spring the ladies to better performances in the coming years. The ideal takeaway is that BUSE has a promising team for years to come.

Sports and Recreation Deputy Director Tinashe Munarwo with members of the netball team


The BUSE Invincibles were given a shot in the arm when they received a brand-new kit from NMB Bank. They promised to bring home at least a medal and the ladies lived up to their promise. Under overwhelming odds, the women dug deep to produce a stunning display of effective volleyball.

They finished their group in second place and advanced to the semi-finals. Although they lost to eventual winners Chinhoyi University of Technology, the ladies gave a good account of themselves. They finished the tournament as the third-best ladies’ team and won a memorable bronze medal.


The men on the other hand were the quickest off the block. They won their opening matches and were well-coordinated. It was their smart interplay and intuitive combinations that made BUSE dream of gold. Unfortunately, the boys were dumped out of the tourney by a GZU team that was out for revenge. Having eliminated GZU in last year’s competition, the Invincibles could not hold their own against a determined GZU. They fell in the quarterfinals.


BUSE’s defeat to NUST proved too bitter a pill to swallow. To say the result was controversial would be the understatement of the year. Player-coach Farai ‘Grandmaster’ Hamandishe explains it, “We had a controversial game against NUST whereby a NUST player paused the clock with two milliseconds left to offer a draw, which is not allowed in all fairness.

“That alone warranted a loss. So, I was watching the game and noticed the infringement and raised my hand to call the arbiter, explained the situation and all was going well until the NUST coach started claiming it was interference.

“The argument stretched for some time, and then they silenced us by saying you’re the one who won the game, only to realise that they gave us a loss for that game,” said a disgruntled Grandmaster.

The team lost and with it their hope of winning silver. They had however registered wins against CUT, WUA, LSU, MUAST, GSU, Catholic University (CU), RCU, Africa University (AU), and MSUAS. They drew against UZ and HIT while suffering a defeat against MSU.


The team’s silver medal is the highest accolade won by a BUSE team at this year’s ZUSA Cluster 1 Games. The team may have lost to seasonal winners the UZ but they acquitted themselves well at the tourney. Very few believed in them and wrote them off but the team showed their resilient colours to close out the tournament with a silver.

BUSE had whitewash victories over WUA and LSU in the group stages before falling 2:3 to UZ in their final group match. They thrashed hosts MSU in the semi-finals – 3:0 – to book a rematch against UZ in the final. Unfortunately, star player Brian Chamboko was called to the national table tennis team and could not help his team against UZ in the final. BUSE lost 1:3. Chamboko had won all his games and was awarded the player of the tournament title despite not having played in the final. 

Brian Chamboko


BUSE finished the ZUSA Cluster One games with no gold medal, one silver, and two bronze medals. This was considerably below expectations and showed the poor mental strength of most of the teams in handling expectations and emotions at the grand stage.

Soccer and basketball were the worst of the bunch. With every odd staked in their favor and the talent to back their pursuit of gold, they choked under pressure and disappointed. Kudos to the volleyball ladies and team table tennis for showing that the best can come from the least expected teams. Smart work will always trump raw talent.

Up next is the Cluster 2 games which are being hosted by Women’s University in Africa (WUA). Expectations are even higher as BUSE is home to the National Sports Academy.

Scenes from the 2024 ZUSA Cluster One Games