By Colonel Tshinga Dube
Most of us supporters of Highlanders and patriots of Bulawayo are really disenchanted by what is taking place at Highlanders Football Club.
Highlanders are the oldest team in the country and the source of some entertainment for the people of Bulawayo and the country at large.
Even those who are in the Diaspora follow the team every week.
But now it is a disappointing feature to note that the performance of the team is right at the bottom of the log. What has gone wrong; who is to blame; is it the board, the executive, the players or lack of commitment to the success of the great soccer team?
I can’t believe that people are folding their hands and watching the team die a natural death. We must question whether the supporters love it or they do not care what happens.
We must know that everything has a cause and effect. The administrators of the team certainly must accept the blame and do the most honourable thing given circumstances — that is to let others try.
In football, there are no amadlozi or mudzimu of the team.
We only have good administrators and good players as it should be.
But if this dire performance continues, all the pride of our beloved team will go into the dustbin.
It is now a shame to be known as a Highlanders supporter.
I can only repeat one old phrase said by General Napoleon: “You can never find bad soldiers, but bad officers.”
If you were to equate that to soccer administrators, we can say you can never find bad players, but bad administrators, be they in the board or in the executive.
The fact is that results are produced by all of them combined.
I have nothing to say about players because they have always been the same and trying their best.
But if there are issues, their morale gets very low. Is their welfare being looked after?
We must understand that players are humans just like all of us.
If they are not happy, there is no performance like the old saying that ‘give nuts and you get monkeys.’
We don’t know the cause of the problem in the administration of the team, but whatever it is we have to do something about it.
Any noble person knows that if you are given a responsibility and you fail to perform, you must gracefully confess that you can’t do it and let somebody else do it.
What is it in this football administration? Is it for prestige; is it for fame or it’s just an ego that one is in the administration of a football team?
Please let’s get to the crux of the matter. We have a lot of people that have contributed a lot in football, especially at Highlanders.
Some have sacrificed their personal possessions for years to ensure the team remains our pride. But time has now come for them to handover the baton.
We must respect them for a job well done in the past and find an honours’ list for them.
They will still be able to advise whenever they can since some of them are elders. They will still be respected for how the team performed in the past.
We can no longer watch them go down with the team. There are many experienced football administrators that can lead Highlanders.
Some of them are outside the country and can make good board members if combined with those in the country to look after the day-to-day club issues.
We must appreciate that if you are a board member, you must be someone who contributes to the whole being of the club not by name but by ability.
I note that whenever elections come, there is a stampede for positions for executive posts.
Do these people who want these posts believe that it’s just being given titles that they hold in the administration or it will improve their status in society?
Not at all.
Your performance is what makes you popular in society.
Once more, I plead with our respected brothers to pass the baton to others.
We should call for an annual general meeting at their instigation where they should tell us where things have gone wrong.
The best way forward is for this AGM to elect a new board and executive. This will stop the shame that the team’s performances has brought us.
I once more wish to say that there is nothing wrong with the players.
So we should, as a matter of urgency, clean up our house.
Col (Rtd) Tshinga J. Dube, Bulawayo.