NEXT January is that time of the year again when the country’s oldest football club, Highlanders, holds its executive committee elections just a few months after the end of yet another terrible season.
The Bulawayo giants have failed on the Premier Soccer League (PSL) title, slippery since 2006. Three posts are up for grabs — that of chairman currently held by Peter Dube, secretary, the incumbent being Andrew Tapela and that of committee member held by Charles “Six-One”
Moyo. The three came on board in 2012, which was the year Zambian coach Kelvin Kaindu had been appointed by the previous Themba Ndlela-led executive committee.
Tapela was secretary, getting his second term in 2012, which tenure expires with the coming elections.
In 2006, Highlanders won the championship with coach Methembe Ndlovu, a former player and under the chairmanship of Ernest “Maphepha” Sibanda.
Sibanda had just taken over the chairmanship from Kennedy Ndebele who is now the PSL chief executive officer. In 2007, Bosso came second to Dynamos — less nine points with 55 against DeMbare’s 64.
Then 2008 was a disastrous season for Bosso who came position eight behind champions Monomotapa, Dynamos, Njube Sundowns, Shooting Stars, Lengthens, Motor Action and Gunners, in a year that the Bulawayo giants literally fought relegation.
Sibanda was to quit as chairman and did not seek re-election saying: “I have done my part for the team as a player, manager and chairman. Let others take the club forward.”
In 2009 under Ndlela, Bosso came fourth, coming third in 2010 and 2011 was another disastrous season with club finishing seventh.
Then the Ndlela-led executive committee appointed Kaindu who came second in 2012 tied on 69 points with Dynamos and second again in 2013 tied on 54 points with DeMbare in the year Highlanders lifted the prestigious Mbada Diamonds Cup.
Dube had renewed Kaindu’s two contract to another two-year term this season.
Maphepha won the championship as manager under the chairmanship of Roger Muhlwa and the late James Mangwana Tshuma before he won the year he took over as chairman in 2006.
His name has once again popped up as frontrunner to contest next year’s chairmanship, but the former Warriors manager has not come out in the open to endorse that speculative gesture.
It might not be constitutionally easy for Sibanda to seek the leadership of the Bulawayo giants after the former chairman was suspended from the club’s membership in 2010 following financial irregularities regarding the transfer of former striker Obadiah Tarumbwa to Belgium.
He was, however, readmitted to the club after he sought leniency and paid the club back in 2012.
That might be a dent in his campaign if he is to seek coming on board.
Article 9: qualifications for executive commiteee positions of the club constitution reads:
“1) A prospective candidate for any position in the executive committee must be a currently fully paid-up member of the club who has been so for an uninterrupted period of at least two years preceding his nomination.
2) Such prospective candidate for any position in the executive committee must not be an unrehabilitated insolvent and must not have been convicted in the 10 years immediately preceding his nomination of any crime involving dishonesty, for which he has been sentenced to a term of imprisonment without the option of a fine or to a fine exceeding $50 000 or to both such fine and such imprisonment.”
The constitution is, however, silent on conviction by which court of law. Article 10: Election of executive committee members goes on to say:
“3) When so elected executive committee members shall hold office for a period of three years after which they automatically lose their positions. Provided that an outgoing executive committee member shall have the right to seek re-election for at least 1 more three-year term in any position after which he shall not be eligible for re-election until after the expiration of a period of 10 years when he shall once again be entitled to contest any position.”
In the case of Tapela, he will definitely not seek re-election as he has already served two successive terms as secretary.
The perceived gaffe on letting Zambian coach Kaindu go with only six matches remaining to the end of the season could spell disaster for Dube if he is seeking re-election in next year’s polls.
Dube is not new to the Highlanders executive committee as he has previously been secretary under chairman Muhlwa.