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Bosso, How Mine dragged to court

By Ricky Zililo

BULAWAYO soccer giants Highlanders FC and How Mine FC have been dragged to the labour court by their former players who are demanding outstanding signing on fees and salaries.

Footballers Union of Zimbabwe (FUZ) Secretary General Paul Gundani seen here with Desmond Maringwa (President)
Footballers Union of Zimbabwe (FUZ) Secretary General Paul Gundani seen here with Desmond Maringwa (President)

Through the Footballers Union of Zimbabwe, six players have sought redress through the labour court and the parties — Highlanders, How Mine and FUZ (representing players) will appear at a hearing on Thursday.

Bosso will be defending their cases against ex-defenders Dumisani “Fazo” Ndlovu and Atlast Musasa while the goldminers have been dragged to court by Elias Makako, Terrence Majo, Eddie Nkulungo and Ephraim Mazarura.

Ndlovu, deemed excess baggage at Highlanders at the beginning of the year is owed $8,500 in signing-on fees — $4,500 balance for the 2013 season and $4,000 for this year. Bosso terminated his contract leading to the player joining Triangle United.

Musasa is claiming $1,500 from Highlanders. The Bulawayo giants acknowledged Musasa’s debt in a letter written to the player on July 16, 2014.

Paul Gundani, the FUZ secretary-general said it was not their intention to approach the labour court, but Highlanders’ failure to come up with payment terms has left them with no option but to take legal action.

“The players wanted the issue to be settled out of court but after seeing that there’s no joy from Highlanders, they’ve since instructed us to take the legal route. As an association we always feel there are better ways to deal with such matters but if clubs decide not to engage us so that we resolve such matters amicably, we’re left with no option but to seek the court’s intervention,” said Gundani.

This is not the first time that Highlanders have been dragged to the labour court by its former employees.

One of the high-profile cases against Highlanders that FUZ handled was the one involving former winger Masimba Mambare which the club lost.

An independent arbitrator ordered Bosso to pay Mambare $10,000 in outstanding signing-on fees.

The former Motor Action midfielder had signed a two-year contract with Bosso in 2012 and the club was supposed to pay him $10,000 signing-on fees which he never received.

In their submissions, Highlanders argued that they were not entitled to pay Mambare the outstanding amount as the matter was now prescribed.

In legal terms, Bosso were simply saying that since Mambare’s contract with them had run out at the end of 2013 they had no obligation to pay him.

Bruce Tshuma now with Bulawayo City and How Mine’s Heritein Masuku also dragged Highlanders to court last year.

Highlanders’ chief executive officer Ndumiso Gumede said the club’s secretary-general Emmett Ndlovu is handling the Ndlovu and Musasa issues.

“It’s true that our former players are taking us to court but please get hold of our secretary (Emmett) because he’s the one dealing with those issues,” said Gumede.

Efforts to get comment from Ndlovu were fruitless as his mobile phone was not reachable.

Meanwhile, How Mine are said to have failed to pay $4,000 signing-on fees to Elias Makako who signed an 18 month contract with them in July last year.

The miners also have to settle identical $1,500 outstanding signing-on fees to Terrence Majo and Eddie Nkulungo who have since joined Bulawayo City FC.

Veteran goalkeeper Ephraim Mazarura, is demanding salaries for the 2015 season after his contract was terminated in February, 10 months before it expired.

How Mine vice-chairman Alpha Matumbura said they were going to defend their cases as they acted within the confines of the contracts they entered into with the players.

“The contracts are clear, if you’re not in the coach’s plans we terminate your contract. What we resolved was that we were going to pay them three months salaries for terminating their contracts and this is according to the labour laws. I think these players are misguided,” Matumbura said. The Chronicle

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