Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

Highlanders problems ‘self-inflicted’

By Sikhumbuzo Moyo

Highlanders’ members’ decision to reject a proposed working document on how the club should be run in line with the Fifa Club Licensing might have been a self-inflicted wound that has come back to haunt the Bulawayo giants.

Kenneth Mhlophe
Kenneth Mhlophe

The document, authored by an eight-member committee led by chairperson Elkannah Dube, Cosmos Sikhosana, Davies Ndumiso Sibanda, Donald Ndebele, Andrew Tapela, Nhlanhla Dube, Innocent Batsani Ncube and Daniel Molekele was trashed by members early last year after alleged heavy lobbying against it by some board members as well as other members of the club who got themselves entangled in unnecessary factional camps.

If members had adopted the document, Highlanders would have been led by a chairperson with four directors delegated individual responsibilities.

The second most powerful executive post at Highlanders would have been the finance director, who, according to the document, would act as chairperson in the absence of the chairperson.

It stipulated that the chairperson should be a person that had been a member of the club for at least five years and must have a demonstrable knowledge and understanding of football administration for at least five years.

It also did away with the board of directors, who would have been replaced by a cultural body known as a Council of Elders.

Article 10.2 of the new draft read: “The Council of Elders shall consist of club president and six other elders with 30 years membership to the club. Except for the club president, the other elders shall serve for a period of 10 years and should be between the ages of 60 and 70 years with a proven 30 plus years membership and service to the club.”

Article 10.3 states that the Council of Elders shall be responsible for the passing on of the club’s values and ethos to the next generation of club administrators.

Other key changes included the issue of membership that would have seen the club adopting three types of voluntary memberships.

According to the document, all life and ordinary card carrying members would fall under the special virtual branch and would have been given a year from the date of passing of the constitution to register under a branch.

Conventional branch based membership will come after the Nomination Electoral Review Committee and Standing Committee come up with demographic delimitation guidelines for the establishment of official club branches.

Another key issue was the congress, which was now going to be held over two days and would have been made up of members drawn from the special virtual branch and all official branches.

However, the document was rejected and now Highlanders find themselves in an administrative quagmire, which would have been avoided had the Dube document been adopted.

Two executive committee members, vice-chairman Modern Ngwenya and secretary-general Israel Moyo were suspended by the board for refusing to extend chief executive officer Nhlanhla Dube’s contract that had expired on April 30.

The decision drew the ire of some members, who accused the board of usurping executive powers.

Ngwenya and Moyo appeared before a five-member disciplinary tribunal chaired by board member Matthew Sibanda last Friday.

Meanwhile, Highlanders remain winless and the only team with such a record on the 18-team Castle Lager Premier Soccer League.

This weekend Bosso take on league debutants TelOne at Barbourfields Stadium, with fears of game number nine without a win mounting with each passing day. The Chronicle