IT’S election day for the Highlanders family at the team’s clubhouse on Sunday when new executive committee members will be ushered in.
Incumbent chairman Peter Dube goes in unchallenged while the electoral court led by board member Luke Mnkandla will announce the new executive secretary and committee member, soon after the elections.
Five names sailed through the nomination court for the post of secretary while four will be battling it out for the committee member’s position.
Dube goes unchallenged after former player, manager and chairman Ernest “Maphepha” Sibanda was disqualified by the nomination court.
Former manager and medic Emmett Ndlovu, businessmen Donald Ndebele and Pilate Mahlangu, social entrepreneur Innocent Batsani Ncube and National Association of Primary School Heads Bulawayo provincial chairman Njabulo Bango are up for the secretary’s post.
Faith Silandulo Dube, Wisdom Mabhena and Cleopas Ngano are challenging Charles “Six-One” Moyo for the committee member’s position.
Ndlovu, who narrowly lost to Andrew Tapela in 2012 for the same position, is trying his luck once again.
“When I contested in 2012, I was responding to the people’s call, people who know the history of the club. Losing the election was a blessing in disguise. I have learnt a lot, positives and negatives and my mission is to take Highlanders back to the top. Once again people have come back to me and said you have walked the road. Highlanders has to go back where it belongs at the top and that includes involving the owners, the ordinary man in the street, members and all stakeholders including sponsors. Highlanders is a movement, a culture, a tradition and a way of life.”
Ndebele also contested for the same post in 2012, losing to Tapela. He got fewer votes than Ndlovu. He says he has been approached by members to contest once again.
“Members who approached me have asked me to ensure resuscitation of life members and supporters’ chapters so that they contribute positively to the structure of the club. These can be the club’s internal sponsors. My chances are pretty good. People did not connect the name to the face last time.”
Ndebele is a member of the Chartered Institute of Secretaries.
Innocent Batsani Ncube
Ncube has been in the Highlanders sub-committee for marketing before.
“People are just armchair analysts and gazebo spectators and I have said it is better to be inside. I want to be part of the solution if there is a problem. The goodwill is there from the elders of the team, but they have to be coaxed into agreeing to new ideas. No one has failed, but there have been challenges.”
“I have been very active at Highlanders having been in the supporters association (Bulawayo Chapter), but pulled out because there was too much politics.
I have always been attending Highlanders annual general meetings and in November last year I was approached by members and friends.
After wide consultations, I warmed up to the idea. People encouraged me while some criticised me, but I looked at what I could bring at Highlanders which is the whole idea: What do I have to further the Highlanders cause?
“Building on the commendable work done by others before me, I would work to turn supporters into members and build a strong community. I am not re-inventing the wheel, but I can add value to what my predecessors have created. Using proven marketing concepts like customer relationship management, my target would be to double the almost 5 000 members within my three year tenure, if not I will have failed and I will not seek election in any executive post.”
“The thrust of my campaign is multi-pronged. When I come into office, I would like to bring in a number of things which include marketing of the brand, strong human resource base, corporate governance and a code of conduct.
The code of conduct will cover everyone at Highlanders.
“The executive, players and the members will all be governed by the code of conduct. My coming in will focus on growing and adding value to the Highlanders brand. I am a team player. The Highlanders brand is competitive and has an absolute advantage over other teams.
“It is time we took that brand to another level. We need unity of purpose in the team. When I come in I will also start up volunteer corps. We want people with skills to volunteer to work for the club. However, such people will be vetted so that we know that they have no criminal background. We need departments such as loss control.
“The club has small business units and there is no loss control department. This department will deal with issues of theft at our small business units and other things.”
“I have learnt a lot during my tenure at Highlanders. If I am elected I would want to do something that would make Highlanders go forward. I would want to have someone who studies what I do. The problem with us is that there is commotion when elections are coming.
“We have to work together for the good of the club. If I am re-elected, I would want to have someone who is dedicated, interested and has the club at heart to learn what I do.”
Faith Silandulo Dube
“I believe in teamwork and respect for club and football statutes. If voted into office, I will cherish fulfilling all assignments delegated to me by the chairman and the executive committee members, but I have my own passion and that is youth development.
“I have been approached by members of the club and some fans in general to serve. One of the reasons I am contesting is to encourage our young supporters to participate in club activities.
“I believe the club will benefit a lot if the youth join as members and staunch fans. If given a choice, I would like to serve in the club’s marketing committee and not be confined to manning the turnstiles. I want to add value to other key focal activities drawing from the expertise as club committee members.”
“There is indiscipline at Highlanders. I am not coming in to only have the comfort of sleeping in hotels. No! I don’t understand why there should be indiscipline if there is a committee member who is the head of delegation.
Why and how? You have to work with the technical team if you are in the post. We must set up committees within the stands so that people identify culprits who throw missiles.
“Highlanders is losing a lot of money through violence. When I come in I am hoping that we will curb incidences of violence so that one day we win the most disciplined team award in the Premier Soccer League.”
“The club needs a football commissar. This is necessary because last year there was the issue of the petition. It went to the media before it was discussed by the executive.
“Had there been a football commissar he would have gone and discussed with those who wanted the petition at grassroots level and then he would have brought that issue to the executive, I am hoping that I will be able to play that role. From 2006 to 2008 Highlanders had the best following in away games.
There were so many people who were following Highlanders. We could take advantage of that by encouraging the supporters to be card carrying members.
If they are card carrying members then they will understand the Highlanders policy which doesn’t accommodate issues like violence.”