AFTER daring to dream during his campaign for the Highlanders’ chairmanship, Johnfat Sibanda’s tenure has instead turned into a nightmare.
And as his executive struggles to deal with a precarious financial position, the club’s players have demanded allowances of at least US$100 each which it seems the club CANNOT raise at the moment and is now faced with a protracted strike.
This publication has it on good authority that the club offered the players US$50 each after an unnamed Victoria Falls benefactor made funds available late last week, but the players in turn demanded to be paid US$100 and on Wednesday said they would not budge.
Sibanda and his executive are presently seized with trying to raise US$1 300 for the 26 players to make up the difference and avert a long labour action by the players.
“After a Victoria Falls-based benefactor chipped in, the club wanted to give us US$50 each, but we didn’t accept the money. We insisted that we wanted US$100. In that regard, we expected the club to swiftly move and raise US$1 300, but to our surprise we are being told stories,” said a Bosso player on condition of anonymity.
“How on earth can a club fail to raise US$1 300? People should do what they promised and for now the club should easily subsidise what the benefactor has put on the table,” said another Highlanders player.
During his campaign, Sibanda promised the world to the Highlanders’ electorate including a deal with Fly Emirates, but this far nothing has materialised.
And the club now seems to be fighting one financial crisis after another. Bosso players resumed their industrial action on Tuesday after temporarily calling off the strike on Saturday morning to focus on Sunday’s Chibuku Super Cup match against Bulawayo City.
They fulfilled the City fixture after boycotting training for three days, demanding that the club honours its promise to review their wages.
The players want their wages doubled.
They gave the executive committee a reprieve after intervention of the technical staff and went on to beat City 1-0 through goalkeeper Ariel Sibanda’s 85th minute penalty.
Boycotting the game would not only have embarrassed Highlanders and the sponsors, but attracted heavy sanctions for the financially crippled club.
Meanwhile, the Bulawayo, Zvishavane and Mutare cluster Chibuku Super Cup match day five has been shelved.
Only six teams in Harare’s Group One will do duty on Saturday and Sunday.
A double header is set for Saturday at National Sports Stadium where there will be a breakfast match that will see Herentals take on Yadah at 11am.
Four hours later, former league champions Dynamos will fight it out against Harare City.
On Sunday, ZPC Kariba will fight it out against CAPS United.
CHIBUKU SUPER CUP GROUP ONE FIXTURES
Herentals v Yadah FC (11am), Dynamos v Harare City (3pm)
ZPC Kariba v CAPS United (1pm)