The Sunday News
Mehluli Sibanda, Sports Editor
HIGHLANDERS Football Club members will congregate at the Clubhouse this morning for the Annual General Meeting (AGM), the only occasion where card carrying supporters can dialogue with the leadership at a formal platform.
Presentation of the amended Bosso constitution for endorsement, ratification and of course rejection will be the major highlight when it comes to any other business. A committee led by board member Nicholas Nyathi was put in place to look at adjusting the club’s constitution which will be presented at the AGM.
If the constitutional amendment is passed by the members, who for years have not realised that they hold all the power at Highlanders as they can approve or reject such proposals, some of the executive committee members will have their positions assuming new names.
In terms of the proposal, the treasurer’s position will be transformed to executive member responsible for finance and will chair meetings relating to money matters. The secretary will become an executive member in charge of administration and marketing while the committee member’s role will be altered to be an executive member answerable for technical and development.
Changes to the Highlanders constitution are meant for the club to be in line with the Confederation of African Football (Caf) club licencing requirements. If the amendments are passed by members, the Bosso chief executive officer will no longer be sharing responsibilities with the secretary, which is the case with the current constitution being used by the club, last attended to in January 2006.
While the changes appear noble as this sleeping giant seeks to move with the times, some members still have questions on why the club still has two centres of power, which have been a source of conflict and even cost Amahlolanyama on the football field.
Highlanders have for years had an executive committee that is elected by members, with members of this structure in office for three years. In terms of the Highlanders constitution the “executive committee shall be the administrative body of the club responsible for its management and in the exercise of its administrative and management functions.”
On the other hand, there is the board of directors, which is not elected, with office bearers for this seemingly powerful structure at the club merely ratified after being brought before members, usually during the mid-year meeting who in terms of the constitution “hold office for an indefinite period.”
Yet, in terms of the same Bosso constitution, the elected executive committee “shall consult the Board of Directors for guidance in matters of policy formulation, strategic planning and management in pursuit of the aims and objectives of the club.”
This has been a source of conflict over the years and is playing out at Highlanders with conflict between the Johnfat Sibanda led executive committee and on the other hand the Luke Mkandla headed board of directors affecting progress at the institution.
Sibanda and his crew insist that they are solely in charge of the day to day running of the club as they draw their mandate from the members who voted for them but Mkandla and the other “old timers” insist that that the executive committee reports to them. This is because the constitution states that the board of directors among other things has responsibilities to “Play a direction setting role for the club and to advise and oversee the Executive Committee on technical and specialised areas of concern to the smooth administration of the club.”
For years, even before the days of Sibanda and Mkandla, there has been conflict between the board of directors and executive committee. Some Highlanders members have proffered that if the club really wants to comply with the Caf club licencing requirements, then it has to do away with the board of directors.
Veteran journalist Ezra Tshisa Sibanda, a Highlanders member has in the past called for disbandment of the board, a structure he referred to as a “bunch of unelected people” but it appears there are some at the club who would rather maintain the status quo.
Nonetheless, Highlanders members will get precise details on the players and coaching staff that will do duty in the 2023 season. Bosso have reportedly reshuffled the technical team by bringing in former player Abraham Mbaiwa as fitness trainer to take up a role that was previously occupied by Harold “Rock” Nhachi.
The club is also said to have found a new role for ex-player Joel Luphahla to allow him to sit on the bench. Luphahla holds a Caf C coaching qualification and will not be able to occupy a spot in the technical zone as the Zimbabwe Football Association has directed that head coaches in the Premier Soccer League and their assistants be in possession of Caf A.
Highlanders have so far announced the departure of Bukhosi Sibanda, Nqobizitha Masuku and Muziwakhe Dlamini. Bosso have recalled Reward Muza from loan at Bulawayo City, promoted Gillian Nyathi from Bosso90 while Calvin Chigonero has been loaned to them for a season by Talen Vision after scoring 17 goals in the Zifa Southern Region Division One.
Midfielders Devine Mhindirira and Adrian Silla are still yet to join their teammates in preparing for the new with the pair said to be attending to personal matters in Harare. The players are said to be trying to find means of moving to Bosso’s bitter rivals Dynamos, despite being contracted to Amahlolanyama.
Highlanders members will also get the exact situation on Jayden Barake, who is said to have penned a three-year contract with Highlanders last year while he was still with the relegated Whawha. Barake stayed to finish the 2021/22 season with Whawha and should have become a Bosso player at the beginning of this year but the youngster is training with Dynamos and even played for the Glamour Boys in a friendly match against Sheasham in Gweru yesterday.
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