By Fungai Muderere
Bulawayo football giants Highlanders recently struck off their developmental side, Bosso90, coach Melusi “Mabaleka” Sibanda, from their NetOne payroll, B-Metro Sport has learnt.
Local mobile network operator NetOne are the principal sponsors of Bosso and CAPS United and they pay salaries of players and members of the technical team.
Sibanda, a former Highlanders player, worked as one of the assistant coaches in the senior team in the past season before the club recently brought back Bekithemba “Super” Ndlovu as one of Madinda Ndlovu’s assistants to reportedly ease the workload on the technical team as the club fosters a return to its yesteryear policy of a vibrant junior policy.
Super is a former Highlanders player, who was a product of the team’s junior policy and returned to the Bosso bench having worked for the Bulawayo giants under Kelvin Kaindu.
In 2018, he was head coach at Bulawayo City, whom he failed to save from relegation despite a strong finish. In his new role, he assists Madinda together with Mandla Mpofu.
A source close to Sibanda said the coach was removed from the club’s payroll late last year, a development that reportedly saw Bosso commit to paying him a downscaled monthly salary from their coffers.
In that regard, according to a well-placed Bosso insider, Sibanda now “receives” his dues from the club together with the team’s Under-14, 16 and 18 coaches Daniel Ngwenya, Sizabantu Khoza, Gift Lunga (jnr) and teams’ manager Smart Moyo.
This publication also has it on good authority that Sibanda, Ngwenya, Khoza, Lunga, and Moyo, have reportedly gone for three consecutive months without receiving a cent from the Bulawayo football giants.
Contacted for comment, a fuming Highlanders chief executive officer, Nhlanhla Dube, had no answers but questions for this reporter.
“Why are you interested in other people’s personal lives? What kind of work is that? Why ask questions based on one’s personal life? Create whatever you want. Go ahead and run your lie,” said a highly strung Dube.
Last year, NetOne, through their One Fusion brand, unpacked sponsorship worth US$350 000 for Bosso, Makepekepe and Dynamos for salaries and signing-on fees for the 2018 campaign.
NetOne also sponsored two other clubs, army side Black Rhinos and airmen Chapungu. But it’s the traditional giants of local football who are reeling in financial distress especially with the influx of clubs with strong monetary backing such as champions FC Platinum, Ngezi Platinum Stars, Chicken Inn, Triangle and Harare City.
Two more corporate-owned sides Manica Diamond FC and TelOne have joined the big league.
A fortnight ago, NetOne doubled its sponsorship package for Bosso and CAPS United from $350 000 to $700 000 and announced a number of perks for the players. B-metro