By Sikhumbuzo Moyo
Newly elected Highlanders supremo Johnfat Sibanda has called on the club’s followers to put the election season behind them and move forward as one united family.
He said differences, which seemingly seemed to be sowing themselves within the club, must never be allowed to creep into the family again and said it was quite disappointing that the club was nearly torn into two largely by faceless characters, who abused social media.
Sibanda said he will never be fooled into believing that the task at hand now was a stroll in the park.
“I am humbled to be elected to the lofty position of chairman of Highlanders Football Club, Zimbabwe’s oldest football club. It is an institution that is steeped in history and I will not be the one to underestimate the importance of the task that you have set me to do.
“Let me take this opportunity to reiterate the importance of unity and commitment to everything that we set out to do. In this spirit, I would like to send a message to the board and my colleagues in the executive and the rest of the team that united we rise, divided we fall,” said Sibanda.
He said the election may have created a lot of heat that could have easily degenerated into open animosity, but he’s comforted by how members conducted the elections in a peaceful, mature and organised way.
“We showed the doomsayers outside the team that we are one family and that when we put our hearts and minds into something, we can succeed.
“It is the same spirit and commitment that I hope to harness to lead Highlanders back to the top shelf. The task we have at hand means we have to have all hands on deck.
There should be unity of purpose, in the spirit of love and my manifesto has clear intentions and all of them aimed at making Highlanders the institution that it has always been; a leader in all aspects of the game and its administration. We have the resources to retain that respect and where we are lacking, our supporters and stakeholders are there to take up the challenge.
“I would like to thank everyone who has brought us to this point. It won’t be easy, but if we all pull together, we will make it.
“My call is that we should set our differences aside and simply get the work done. Ngiyalibonga,” said Sibanda, who spent the better part of the day yesterday engaged in marathon meetings with the staff at the club offices.
The handover process was done on Monday as per club tradition.
Sibanda polled 154 votes, beating incumbent Kenneth Mhlophe by just five votes.
The biggest winning margin was in the secretary’s race where Morgan ‘Gazza’ Dube garnered 212 votes to beat incumbent Israel Moyo, who managed just 91.
Mgcini Mafu shocked his opponent Bheka Sibanda in the committee member’s post, polling 176, while 128 members voted Sibanda. The Chronicle