By Sikhumbuzo Moyo
Bulawayo-based radio station Skyz Metro FM has been caught in the Highlanders elections storm after its popular presenter Babongile Sikhonjwa allegedly announced that he will vote for incumbent chairman Kenneth Mhlophe during the morning drive show on Saturday.
Bosso are set to hold elections for a chairman, secretary-general and committee member on February 7 if they can get a waiver from the Sports and Recreation Commission to gather at the club house amid a surge in Covid-19 infections and deaths in the country.
The country is in a Level 4 lockdown under which all public gatherings, sporting and recreational activities are banned.
After allegedly declaring that he would cast his vote for Mhlophe, Sikhonjwa is reported to have invited Johnfat Sibanda, who is running for the Bosso chairmanship, for a live interview.
This, however, miffed Sibanda’s campaign manager Sikhumbuzo Mnkandla, who accused the presenter of unprofessional conduct.
“We wonder if that is ethical for a presenter to do that. Having declared his position, the fellow goes on to invite us for an interview. How impartial will the interview be? We therefore believe it’s in our best interest for Sibanda to disengage from Skyz Metro because of the unprofessional conduct of their presenter.
“Listeners hold the station in high regard and in return it must ensure that its personnel adhere to ethical journalistic principles of truthfulness, accuracy, objectivity, impartiality, fairness and accountability,” said Mnkandla.
Contacted for comment Skyz Metro chief executive officer Godwin Phiri denied that Sikhonjwa went on air and announced that his vote was for Mhlophe.
He said as a station, they are and will never be aligned to any candidate.
“At no point did he declare support for anyone. There were two presenters in the studio and they agreed as part of comedy that one would be Johnfat Sibanda and the other Mhlophe and they just made banter out of it.
“Skyz Metro FM does not support any particular candidate for any position in any team. Skyz Metro FM does not support any team and has no interest in who wins any election anywhere,” Phiri said.
Meanwhile, Mnkandla said his camp does not buy into the idea of the club inviting foreigners to invest in the recently acquired Inyathi gold claim.
He said they believed that within the Highlanders family there were people with financial resources and expertise that can be approached to invest in the project.
“It’s a prospective money spinner (gold mine); make no mistake about that; and we really applaud everyone involved in the acquisition of that claim. We, however, don’t think it’s a good idea to annex it to the Chinese.
“We have received numerous inquiries and promises from Bosso members and supporters in the diaspora that are ready to pour money into that project and until our own people have openly said they can’t fund the operations, let’s not shut them out,” said Mnkandla.
Mhlophe told Chronicle Sport last Sunday that talks with Chinese investors into the prospective mining operations were at an advanced stage and an agreement that would see Bosso getting 60 percent of all gold sales was being drafted. The Chronicle