The Sunday News
SUSPENDED Highlanders executive committee members, Modern Ngwenya and Israel Moyo have argued that the club has failed to point at the exact stipulations of the constitution that are being used to charge them with disobedience.
Vice-chairman Ngwenya and secretary-general Moyo appeared before a disciplinary hearing at the Highlanders offices on Friday where they answered to charges of insubordination. The accusations emanated from the executive meeting held on 29 April where the duo voted against adopting recommendations of the club’s human resources committee to extend chief executive officer Nhlanhla Dube’s contract up to the end of this year. Dube’s two year-deal came to an end on 30 April. Moyo wrote a letter to Dube on his last day in office advising him that the executive had decided not to renew his contract. Ngwenya and Moyo, who attended the hearing in the company of their lawyer are adamant that they have no case to answer because those charging them are falling short in naming the exact specifications of the club’s statutes that the two have flouted.
Highlanders board secretary Matthew Sibindi chaired the disciplinary hearing with the other committee members being Elkanah Dube, Dumisani Sandi, Davies Ndumiso Sibanda and the club’s lawyer Matshobana Ncube.
“They (Highlanders) failed to point at specific provisions which they allege were breached by the defendants, they could only say it is somewhere there, it is implied in the constitution. Because when you are looking at it, the issue is arising out of a sub-committee, there is a provision that regulates sub-committees, that is Article 19, it says all sub-committees fall under the vice-chairman so a sub-committee which is in the vice-chairman’s portfolio cannot be superior to the vice-chairman,’’ said a source familiar with what transpired in the hearing. Ngwenya and Moyo are said to have maintained that the human resources committee made a suggestion and not a command with regards the future of the CEO, therefore it was up to the executive to accept or reject such advice.
“In any event, the human resources committee is making recommendations and not directives, the recommendations are at the mercy of the person who is receiving the recommendation, you can decide to or not to accept the recommendations.”
Highlanders executive chairman, Kenneth Mhlophe is alleged to have acknowledged during the hearing that the matter at hand is that Ngwenya held a different view to his, which is the basis for charging him and Moyo with defiance.
“The chairman accepted in the hearing that the issue was that the vice-chairman had a different view from his view, being whether or not the human resources committee recommendations should be adopted or they should not be adopted. The chairman accepts that they failed to agree, he decided to put it to a vote, soon after the voting he then says its insubordination because you had a different view from my view,’’ the source said.
It is said that when Ngwenya and Moyo gave evidence in the hearing, their submissions were not even contested. According to our source, Mhlophe allegedly first denied that he instructed Moyo to write to the CEO advising him that his contract was not being renewed, but later allegedly conceded that he had given that instruction when a record of the proceedings of that day were presented.
“When Ngwenya and Moyo gave evidence on what exactly transpired, their evidence went unchallenged, the chairman first declined that he had directed the secretary to write a letter of notification on non-renewal of the contract to the CEO. He said he never gave that instruction, he was only surprised when the CEO called him and told him he had received the letter but when the minutes are then produced he agrees and says they are correct, it is exactly what transpired. In those minutes, it is stated that the chairman gave the secretary an instruction to write a letter and deliver it to the CEO so we are dealing with a chairman who is not honest, maybe someone is pulling strings behind him, nobody knows,’’ the source further said.
The source of information indicated that if fairness exists at Highlanders, the two should be found not guilty. Sibindi, is alleged to have stated that minutes of the executive committee meeting presented by the defendants were fake, despite Mhlophe confirming that they were genuine.
“If justice prevails at Highlanders then these people should be acquitted but in this case there are people who are trying to abuse the Highlanders constitution to push their own agenda, but it’s unfair to the football community, to the supporters, even to the players. With the attitude they displayed in the hearing, it is shocking that there are people declaring that documents are fake before they even read them, what do you expect from that kind of a person?” said the source.
Highlanders are now expected to make their closing submissions on the matter on Thursday with the accused persons doing the same four days later before a verdict is issued out. Should things not go their way, Ngwenya and Moyo can appeal to the Zimbabwe Football Association as Highlanders is a member of the Zifa Council. The matter could go as far as the Fifa headquarters if not solved locally, added the source privy to the goings on at the hearing.