HIGHLANDERS chief executive officer Ndumiso Gumede yesterday vowed to take the issue of exorbitant police charges to President Robert Mugabe if the relevant authorities do not take the matter seriously.
Gumede was reacting to a letter by police Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri turning down a Highlanders request for the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) to consider lowering charges for police details hired for home matches.
Bosso argued that the charges were too exorbitant and would eventually drive the club into bankruptcy.
Gumede last month wrote to Chihuri seeking his intervention, but in his response yesterday through ZRP spokesperson, Charity Charamba, he turned down the request without proffering any reasons.
“Please be advised that your request for the ZRP to review the rates paid to the police details for providing security during football matches at stadiums has not been approved by the commissioner general,” Charamba wrote.
“This position has been caused by circumstances beyond the ZRP control.
“ZRP wishes Highlanders Football Club a successful 2014 season campaign.”
However, Gumede said the club would not take the matter lying down.
“This letter arrived 30 minutes before the press conference (to unveil a new player yesterday),” he said last night.
“We won’t take this setback lying down. If it means reaching number one (Mugabe) no matter how long it will take we will do so.
“I have to table the matter to the executive and then we will approach the Sports and Recreation Commission who are unfortunately one of the beneficiaries who diminish the proceeds (from gate takings).
“If they do not see sense we have to approach the minister (Sport, Arts and Culture).”
“I must now go through them and I expect that the matter will get through to minister (Andrew) Langa who in turn will engage his counterpart (Home Affairs minister Kembo) Mohadi.
“If they still find that football is a source of funding for everybody else other than the beneficiaries, then I am sure I can find my way to Zvimba and say ‘Gushungo are you aware there are gold diggers fleecing football?’ It will take time.”
Highlanders say deductions from revenue generated on the turnstiles is gobbled by levies and charges, leaving the team with no money to run the club.
Statements in possession of Southern Eye Sport show that in the match against Harare City, Highlanders made $14 999, but after deductions they received $4 820,99 with ground rentals having cost $2 999,80 while $1 336 went to the police and other costs.
In the international friendly match against Notré Dame University from the United States, Bosso made $3 919, but the club received a paltry $497. ZRP were given $556 while Bulawayo City Council got $783.
The team grossed $18 955 for the Bantu Rovers match with ground rentals taking $3 791, police $1 494 and the club netting $7 002.