By Mehluli Sibanda
Six candidates, two for each position yesterday submitted their nomination papers to stand in next month’s Highlanders elections.
Highlanders members whose membership is up to date will on 7 February choose three members of the executive committee, that is the chairman, secretary general and committee member. Incumbent chairman, Kenneth Mhlophe will face off with Johnfat Sibanda for the most powerful position in the Highlanders executive.
Mhlophe was elected unopposed as chairman in 2018 when Ernest “Maphepha” Sibanda was disqualified from contesting. In Johnfat Sibanda, Mhlophe faces a formidable opponent seeing that the former has been involved with Highlanders for over three decades.
Victoria Falls based Morgen “Gazza” Dube is challenging Israel Moyo for the post of secretary while the battle for the committee member’s position is between Mgcini Mafu and Bhekumuzi “Mahii” Sibanda.
Former Highlanders player, Netsai “Super” Moyo had in the days leading up to the closing of the nomination process shown an interest in contesting for the SG’s position but could not do so because he had not kept his ordinary membership paid up for an uninterrupted period of at least two years immediately preceding his nomination as stipulated by Article 9 of the Highlanders constitution.
“I could not be allowed to contest because I had not paid my 2020 subscription, but I was really excited, the people were really excited, I was getting calls with people telling me to go for it. It is something that we want to do as former players to assist the club where we can. There are other elections that are coming in future, we should be better prepared by then,’’ Moyo said
Cosmas Sikhosana, the nomination court secretary confirmed that six candidates had submitted their documentation, with the verification process to be conducted on Tuesday in the presence of those competing or their agents.
“We received six completed nomination forms, two for each position at the close of nomination. The verification will only take place on Tuesday in the presence of the candidates or their representatives,’’ Sikhosana said.
In their verification process, besides looking at whether candidates secured the required support from fellow members, Sikhosana said they are also guided by Article 9 of the Highlanders constitution which stipulates who qualifies to be a member of the club’s executive.
Other members of the nomination court are Elkanah Dube, Ndumiso Gumede, Luke Mkandla, Matthew Sibindi and Methuseli Mafu. To contest in the elections, candidates were required to pay US$200 which is refundable should they manage to secure at least 10 percent of the total votes for the particular position. Candidates had to also get support from a minimum of ten paid up Highlanders members. The members have to write their names, membership numbers and sign the nomination form.
While there is uncertainty on whether the Highlanders elections will take place in light of the Covid-19 lockdown regulations in the country, Sikhosana pointed out that they will find ways of ensuring that the polls go ahead.
Not conducting elections on the stipulated day could pose challenges for Highlanders since the club’s constitution does not clearly state what happens if such a scenario was to occur. The Sunday News