BULAWAYO football giants Highlanders have settled $100 000 legacy debt payment to over 20 of their former players and coaches amid revelations that this month $300 000 would be committed to paying institutions the club owes.
Bosso have been choking under the weight of a heavy debt, which soared past the $1 million mark in 2018, and in the process affected some of the club’s operations.
Just like many other institutions, the black and white army has moved swiftly to capitalise on the January landmark judgement by the Supreme Court that creditors who were owed before the enactment of Statutory Instrument 33 of 2019 should no longer be paid at the prevailing interbank rate.
The club’s debt is now equated to $1 million in local currency.
A group of Highlanders members has been working on helping clear the debt by targeting 1 000 people to contribute R500 or US$30 each to clear the debt, with the remainder going into the club’s coffers.
The ambitious crowd-funding exercise is the brainchild of the chairman of the Bosso South Africa Chapter Members, Nodumo Nyathi, one of the club’s most passionate fans who hopes to tap into the pockets of hordes of Bosso fans.
Other groups of fans have separate initiatives geared towards the same objective and the club.
Section 4 (1)(d) of SI 33 of 2019 enacted in terms of Section 2 of the Presidential Powers (Temporary Measures) Act (Chapter 10:20) states;
“That, for accounting and other purposes, all assets and liabilities that were, immediately before the effective date, valued and expressed in US dollars (other than assets and liabilities referred to in section 44C (2) of the principal Act) shall on and after the effective date be deemed to be valued in RTGS dollars at a rate of one to one,” according to the statutory instrument.
This position was later confirmed in section 22 of the Finance Act No. 2 of 2019.
Bosso were warned that delaying clearing the debt might see it ballooning should there be a return of US dollars.
This, however, will not apply to loans or debts owed to foreign parties as SI 33/ 19 excluded those from the conversion.
“An amount of RTGS$100 000 was recently used to pay the first batch of our former coaches and players. We paid plus or minus 25 of them and the other batch will be soon. However, this time around, RTGS300 000 has been committed to pay institutions that we owe. We believe the move to clear the legacy debt gives a clear direction with regards to moving what the club seeks to achieve. We are really dedicated to settling this legacy debt,” said Highlanders media and communications officer Ronald Moyo.
According to impeccable sources some of the ex-Bosso players and coaches that have received their dues are Johannes “Tshisa” Ngodzo, Mkhuphali Masuku, legendary goalkeeper Peter “Oxo” Nkomo and Simon “Yola” Munawa.
In April, Highlanders and CAPS United were ditched by their principal sponsor NetOne who had evolved into one of the big sponsors of domestic football, bankrolling the salaries of the players and coaches and providing incentives to the two clubs to strive for excellence and also providing them with kits.
Although the three-year sponsorship package was pegged at $700 000, for each club last year, the company ended up pouring in much more than that figure.
NetOne also splashed $170 000 on Black Rhinos, which also included a kit and a $50 000 performance-based bonus, as part of their financial outlay into the game.
Airforce of Zimbabwe side, Chapungu, also received support from NetOne last year.