By Chronicle newspaper
We have been keeping a close eye on the disarray at Zimbabwe’s oldest football club, Highlanders, but can’t continue to overlook the unravelling and controversy afflicting one of the country’s best supported sides.
Bosso fans woke up to news of turmoil engulfing the club following the failed attempt to block club chief executive officer Nhlanhla Dube’s contract extension.
Dube’s two-year contract lapsed on April 30 and two executive committee members that insisted on not extending it were subsequently suspended by the club’s board for going against the human resources committee’s recommendations.
A clause in Dube’s contract specifies that he be given two months’ written notice if his contract will not be renewed and the club’s human resources committee apprised the executive committee of litigation it would create for ignoring this clause.
However, club vice-chairman Modern Ngwenya and secretary-general Israel Moyo disregarded the human resources committee’s advice and persisted on blocking the extension of Dube’s contract.
This angered the board, which retaliated by immediately suspending Ngwenya and Moyo pending a disciplinary hearing.
Highlanders’ president Ndumiso Gumede further muddied the waters by blasting Ngwenya and Moyo for deliberately causing anarchy within the club. Gumede just fell short of placing responsibility of the first team’s chaotic pre-season camp on the pair.
Bosso players went on strike during pre-season resulting in the team’s poor start to the season in which they have registered three draws and two losses.
Gumede’s attack on the pair contained veiled hints that the team’s poor run is due to some form of sabotage by some executive committee members.
Could it be that the alleged indiscipline of Ngwenya and Moyo influenced the players to revolt during the pre-season and could it be indirectly linked to the team’s current dismal run?
If so, swift and decisive action must be taken to ensure Bosso return to their core business of playing good football undistracted by off field shenanigans.
Any form of indiscipline, whether by players, the executive, board or fans, has no place within the Highlanders collective and must be quickly nipped in the bud.
Highlanders is a brand, but no sponsor wants to be associated with a soiled brand, as Bosso are currently doing with their internal feuding. It would be a sad day and certainly not a pretty sight should mobile network operator NetOne disengage from sponsoring Bosso because of this infighting. Withdrawal of financial support would brew more chaos for Highlanders, as they will struggle to pay their players resulting in a catastrophic season.
We implore Highlanders to put their house in order and weed out all undesirable elements from within their ranks without fear or favour.
Multitudes of Bosso supporters have invested emotionally in the club and no one should be allowed to tamper with these investments for selfish means.
This turmoil also appears to have all the signs of a third force bent on destabilising Highlanders to impose certain individuals in the executive and technical team.
Those that want to take over the reins at Highlanders should do so via the club’s laid down rules and regulations. They can use the club’s rule book to trigger an extraordinary general meeting where they can openly contest instead of cowardly sponsoring a hostile takeover by fomenting bickering and chaos.
Bosso fans turn to the team for entertainment and respite from the present day stresses and it’s sad and frustrating for them to be subjected to management squabbles and humiliation on the field of play due to indiscipline and virtual greed.
The success of Highlanders is intertwined with how well it is viewed by all its stakeholders and those sponsoring the unfolding mayhem, be they current or former executive committee members, must consider the impact this commotion will have on the club’s players.
We disapprove of the ongoing feud and appeal for sober minds to prevail before the situation gets out of hand. Bosso are already 10 points behind log leaders FC Platinum after five matches and hopes of the club’s challenge for the title are fading. Chronicle