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Mhlophe, Sibanda lock horns over Bosso top seat

by Staff reporter
27 Mar 2021 at 09:14hrs | Views
HIGHLANDERS executive committee elections take place tomorrow with both incumbent chairperson Kenneth Mhlophe and challenger Johnfat Sibanda fighting for the top post.

Mhlophe has been at the helm for the past three years and yesterday said the generality of the Highlanders members said they would vote him back.

"The mood for the upcoming election is okay for me. I am ready. I know that the real owners of the club will vote me in. Most previous chairmen of the club have been given two terms (six years) to run the club. Why not me too? What is it that I have done wrong?" Mhlophe asked rhetorically.

He rides on the glory of the gold mine project initiated by his executive committee, where government has granted the club mining rights in Inyathi to guarantee self-sustenance.

"You need finance to buy quality players that can give the club trophies and win you the championship, which is what is at the back of my mind all the time, hence the mining project. I will always revert to the mine in all my conversations because it is finance that is lacking at Highlanders for the club to go back to those glory days and fill up the cabinet with trophies," Mhlophe said.

"There is no sponsorship these days. Sponsors want mileage and our football currently does not even have television coverage even if we are to resume football. Sponsors run budgets for these things and imagine where we stand at the moment besides having no television coverage, fans will not be coming to the stadiums, so what is in it for the sponsor?"

The Highlanders chairman said speaking of trophies and titles without quality players backed by sound finance was just cheap electioneering.

"Without the finances, it will be an uphill task to win trophies and championships. It will not be easy to achieve that. It is bar talk and just electioneering. When you are voted in and you are inside, you will see that it is not as easy. How are you going to win the championship without quality players and to get those you need sound finances?" Mhlophe said.

"Players are going to clubs with money. We don't have a sponsor at the moment and that calls for us to think outside the box. How do we get the funds so that we become self-sustainable in terms of sponsorship? Even if we are going to get sponsors, we can't afford to be solely dependent on them as they come and go like the recent NetOne sponsorship."

Mhlophe reckoned that his executive committee had done well under the COVID-19 circumstances.

"It has been very difficult due to COVID-19, but we have managed for 15 months to pay salaries, we don't owe players in terms of salaries. Salaries for club employees, technical staff and players are up to date. This has been through the benevolence of our strategic partners, through donations and development fees that came through (Marvelous Nakamba and Teenage Hadebe) and remember, we sold Prince (Dube). We have managed to keep going in the circumstances and we are still safe," he said.

His challenger, Sibanda said he wants to bring change to the club and bring back the club to its glory days.

"I appeal to you to vote for me to lead your club Highlanders. I am aware of the club's culture. At Highlanders, together we are one. At Highlanders, all members are equal. What I am offering if you vote for me to lead you is respect for you as members and respect for your constitution," he told club members last week.

"I have worked with almost all the chairmen from 1986 up until today. I have worked profitably at the clubhouse. I promise that if I am elected, we will play good football. We will bounce back to Highlanders' entertaining type of game."

The other posts up for grabs are that of secretary, with incumbent Israel Moyo battling it out with Morgen Dube, while Bheka Sibanda and Mgcini Dube race for the committee member's post.

Source - newsday

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