Players for Blantyre-based non-league football outfit, Highlanders, went through an unforgettable ordeal after spending a good seven hours pushing their car to Blantyre from Thyolo after playing a friendly match on Sunday.
The car, a Pick-up, run short of fuel on the return journey and the team members struggled to find diesel. Reluctantly, they agreed to push the car all the way to the commercial city amidst rain drizzles and chilly weather, the club's chairman Lovemore Mpunga has confirmed.
"We started off from Thyolo at around 6pm.but, after covering a short distance, we run out of fuel," he said.
"We hunted for black-market fuel to no avail. We had no choice but to push it."
The Sunday Times saw the team at around midnight in Bangwe Township, where they launched a search for fuel on the black market. The players looked exhausted and soaked.
The players and the driver were seen going around drinking joints asking imbibers where they could find the country's most sought-after commodity.
"We cannot continue pushing the car. We are tired," one of the players said.
Highlanders is based in Ndirande Township, located some 10 kilometers from Bangwe.
Mpunga described the experience as both painful and unforgettable.
"We went through a very bad experience. Everybody is disappointed. It just tells you that the fuel shortage problem has reached uncontrollable levels," he said.
Disappointing still, the team lost their friendly match in Thyolo.
"This was like a double-blow. Had we won the match, the experience could have turned into something positive," he said.