IN 72 hours, Highlanders — the oldest known existing football club in Zimbabwe — will have a new leader mandated to lead it for the next three years.
After months of campaigning for the top position at the Bulawayo giants, it all comes down to the electorate to vote for the man they see fit to lead the club until 2024.
The watershed elections will be held at the Highlanders clubhouse on 28 March.
Incumbent Kenneth Mhlophe goes head-to-head with challenger Johnfat Sibanda.
Here is what the two promise to offer when elected on Sunday as well as the sentiments of their most vocal supporters.
He wants a Bosso that can stand on its own feet financially and he believes that dream can only be realised if the gold mining venture that he was instrumental in acquiring for the club is turned into reality.
“I want to commence mining activities that will give the club financial stability so it doesn’t have to rely on a single sponsor. Financial stability is what I promise the voters if given the mandate to lead the club for another three years,” he told B-Metro Sport.
Under his leadership, Bosso have entered into strategic partnerships with Arenel, Sanctuary Insurance as well as a Fruit and Veg retail.
Mhlophe also wants to see the team strengthen its junior structures by hiring qualified personnel who will infuse the “Bosso philosophy” to the youngsters.
The club has hired former head coach Madinda Ndlovu to take up the role of junior development technical director.
“In Madinda Ndlovu, we found someone gifted in talent identification and grooming so him and his team will come up with programmes that entail development from the 15-year age group up to the Under-19s so that a player is ready for promotion into the senior team,” he said.
His campaign is centred on taking Highlanders to the people through greater participation by its members.
Sibanda believes the Highlanders grounds can also generate revenue for the club.
“I know the culture of the club. At Highlanders we’re one, all members are equal and if voted in, I’ll give respect. I don’t know what factions are.
I’ve worked for Highlanders since 1986, working with different chairpersons and records are there that for the first time that the clubhouse made profits, Johnfat Sibanda was head of the entities committee. I promise that I’ll bring back exciting football,” said Sibanda.
The other positions up for grabs are that of the secretary-general and committee member.
Victoria Falls-based Morgan Dube will take on the incumbent Israel Moyo for the position of secretary-general while Bongani Mafu and Bhekumuzi Sibanda will battle it out for the committee member post.
The elections are set to be held under strict Covid-19 protocols as was observed when the club had its annual general (AGM) meeting last Sunday.
Club members observed social distancing, sanitised and checked body temperatures in line with recommendations from health authorities.