Speaking to Phakaaathi on Wednesday, Mbele said he didn’t know anything about Shonga still being on the books of the Zambian club.
“The club (Pirates) released a statement that he is our new signing. I don’t know anything about other things,” said Mbele.
In Nkwazi’s statement, the club revealed that Pirates and Sundowns, who were also reported to be looking to sign Shonga, never approached them for his services, and said that the player had missed a few of their league matches due to an injury.
“The club has not gotten any formal communication from any of the clubs mentioned and other clubs’ offers have come through, but Justin is still a Nkwazi player.
“He may not have played for Nkwazi since the defeat in Ndola to Buildcon in week 23 where he sustained an injury, but he is still our player.
“Justin has missed four league matches due to the same injury even though he played for the national team against Algeria but he carried the knock, in that tie too,” read the statement.
Technically, Pirates would only be allowed to sign Shonga outside of the transfer window if he was a free agent before the transfer window closed. However, the Buccaneers released a statement on Tuesday confirming Shonga as their latest signing.
The 20-year-old forward, who is also part of the Zambian senior national team, was quoted on the Pirates website stating that he is happy to have joined the club and that he would like to emulate other Zambians who have previously donned the Soweto giants’ jersey.
“I am happy to be here,” said Shonga. “This is the right move for my career and my ambitions. I would like to emulate other Zambian players who have done well at the club such as Perry Mutapa and Isaac Chansa.”