Ricky Zililo, Senior Sports Reporter
REDUCING the ballooning Highlanders’ debt, which threatens the club’s existence, tops the priority list of new Bosso chairman Colonel (Retired) Kenneth Mhlophe.
The Bulawayo businessman was confirmed chairman at the elective congress held at the Highlanders clubhouse yesterday after his challenger Ernest Sibanda was barred from contesting due to past misdemeanours. Israel Moyo was voted in as the new secretary-general, while long-serving committee member Wisdom Mabhena was retained.
In his acceptance speech, Mhlophe advocated for unity of purpose within the Highlanders’ family and asked members to put their differences aside and work towards extinguishing the club’s debt, which is now close to $1 million, as well as to bring back the glory days at Bosso.
He said the club’s success was a collective effort and promised to work with every member, including those that were not on his side during the campaign.
“My focus will be on uniting the Bosso family as I believe that we can achieve a lot as a united front. Today, right now going forward, we must be united by the everlasting idea that supersedes all individual desires and preferences. The idea is Highlanders FC; it is this idea which must prevail, not individuals or competing interests. Let us embrace the truth that we will succeed only if we’re united,” said Mhlophe.
“Another important task is managing and clearing our debt. I believe it’s important to have closure on this. It’s also important that we establish the true value of the debt and target particular sales to reduce the debt. We need to make a resolution that revenue from a targeted sale or percentage goes towards reducing our debt. We cannot sit and watch it grow. I believe the debt reduction has to come from within us. As we settle down to the serious business of our club’s development, you will hear more about the programmes and activities that we will be embarking on,” he said.
Meanwhile, Moyo shrugged off the challenge of two other contestants to poll 104 votes from the 180 bona-fide members that cast their votes to land the secretary-general’s post.
Siphatho Ncube got 60 votes, while Nkululeko Ndlovu was a distant third with 15 votes.
In his post-election interview, Moyo said: “I’ll apply my knowledge, my skills in football and general management diligently to uplift the value of Highlanders and make sure every stakeholder receives a share value for their faith and trust and investment in Highlanders.
“It’s probably time to prioritise our expenditure in a manner that we spend what we’re able to generate within the capacity of Highlanders and also we spend on critical services that sustain the livelihood of the team. We also need to regenerate or bring into action some of the revenue streams that have been dormant for a long time so that we increase our cash flows into the business; that way we will be able to service the debt.”
Yesterday’s elections didn’t attract a big turnout compared to 2015 when 229 members turned up. There were members from as far as Harare, Victoria Falls, Plumtree and other parts of the country.
Voting was done under a peaceful atmosphere and voters accepted the results.
Mabhena beat former committee member Charles Moyo, Silandulo Sam Sibanda and Peacot Hadebe to retain his committee member position.
Mabhena got 87 votes, with Moyo polling 18, while Hadebe managed 35 and Sibanda received 39 votes.
“I thank members for their trust and confidence in me. Elections are over and it’s time to work. My wish is that members will also play their part by supporting this executive so that Highlanders becomes the winner at the end of the day.
“The biggest fight that we have is to eliminate criminal elements around Highlanders, which is hooliganism. The club continues to lose so much because of unruly elements and this is the time to shut hooliganism out of our matches, as we strive to have a family-friendly football environment,” said Mabhena.
Article Source: The Chronicle