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Bosso much-awaited election date out

By Mehluli Sibanda

Highlanders Football Club candidates for the chairmanship, Kenneth Mhlophe and Johnfat Sibanda have welcomed the announcement of dates for the much-awaited elections.

Highlanders chairman Kenneth Mhlophe (Picture via Highlanders Football Club)
Highlanders chairman Kenneth Mhlophe (Picture via Highlanders Football Club)

Yesterday, the Highlanders board announced that the club has been granted permission to hold the 2021 annual general meeting as well as elections. According to a statement signed by Highlanders board chairman Luke Mnkandla and president Ndumiso Gumede, the AGM will be held on 21 March and the elections, where the club’s card-carrying members will choose three executive committee members, that is chairman, secretary and committee member on 28 March.

The AGM was meant to have taken place on 31 January and elections on 7 February. Both events could, however, not take place since the country was on lockdown with public gatherings not permitted as part of measures to control the spread of the coronavirus (Covid-19).

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Mhlophe declared that he is ready for the elections as he was prepared on 7 February, with his concern being the poisonous environment that has accompanied the campaign period.

“Now that we have a date, I’ve always been ready, I was ready for 31 January for the AGM and February for the elections, which never came. I am tired of this toxic campaigning that is taking place, the better we do with the elections, whoever wins, wins so that the institution moves on,’’ Mhlophe said.

On his chances of securing a fresh three-year mandate, Mhlophe said the club members will retain him if they feel he has served their purpose.

“The owners of the club have the final say, they will say whether they want to retain me or not retain me, it’s up to them and I will accept whatever they would have done. So far so good, they are happy with what I have done under the difficult circumstances.

We had 15 months of no football, we have been able to pay salaries for players, staff and coaches throughout, we are up to date in terms of salaries. No one has bothered to find out where we are getting money for salaries, we are having sleepless nights looking for money,’’ he said.

Sibanda is a relieved man as he feels that his opponent has been given an unfair advantage by being allowed to continue in office when his mandate from the members had expired.

“I am very happy that we are getting to the end of the story. We were now divided because the board had given someone an unfair advantage outside the mandate given by members. I hope the advantage he secured will help him but its an unfair advantage. I was ready on the day we were meant to have elections, that’s why I have been saying why the other person has been given an unfair advantage. Now all of us can work for the good of the team, at the end Highlanders must be the winner,’’ Sibanda said.

Israel Moyo is being challenged by Victoria Falls-based Morgen “Gazza” Dube for the secretary’s post. Bhekumuzi Sibanda and Mgcini Mafu are gunning for the position of committee member. Wisdom Mabhena, the outgoing committee member cannot seek a fresh mandate since he has served two consecutive terms and is constitutionally barred from seeking re-election.

When elections could not take place, the Highlanders board had extended the term of office for the entire executive, a decision which riled some of the club’s members.

One of the club members, Cornelius Ngwazana had threatened to take Highlanders to court if the board decision, which he described as unlawful was not reversed. The Sunday News