Highlanders Football Club election fever has started heating up with Bulawayo businessman Mandla Moyo confirming he is going to challenge incumbent chairman Themba Ndlela in the polls to be held in January.
After months riddled with speculation and rumour-mongering in football circles in the City of Kings and Queens, Moyo finally confirmed to NewsDay Sport on Saturday that he would be standing for the post of executive chairman come next year.
One of the most contentious football elections in the country after the Zifa elections will be held a week after the club’s annual general meeting, which is usually held on the last Sunday of January.
Confirming his position, Moyo said he was heeding a call from the Highlanders family in and around the country.
“It has been a tough call and I will answer it. The rest will come as we go, but for now all I can say is I am contesting for the chairman’s post,” Moyo said.
Although Ndlela was ambiguous regarding the elections at a Press briefing last Friday, he said his business at Highlanders was not yet over, indicating that he would be seeking re-election.
“When I work for Highlanders, I don’t look at my term of office. The work that I am doing must be a continuous process. Highlanders has always been my home. Elections are something else. I have made my contribution to the club to the best of my ability.
“Whether I am contesting or not, it’s always a question that is difficult to answer when you are in office. In terms of my capabilities, I think I can still run the club. I am not in formal employment now and that gives me more time to take care of the club. But then if I am standing, you will see my manifesto,” Ndlela said.
However, sources said members of his social club, Amavevane — who make up about 25% of the Highlanders’ electorate and championed his election to the Bosso chairmanship in 2009 — are divided over his re-election.
Moyo is the owner of Eastgate Motor Spares, Fairlands Farm in Warringham and Halfway Mine.
He is also the founder member of Sparrows Football and life member of Highlanders.
Another name that has been touted for the Bosso chairmanship is that of board member and former club secretary Peter Dube.
Two other positions — the secretary held by Andrew Tapela and committee member held by Wisdom Mabhena — will also be up for grabs in next year’s elections.
Tapela last Friday said he would be issuing a statement when the time was ripe. Other names that have been advocated for are that of former manager Emmet Ndlovu, who has, however, said he was on holiday as far as football administration is concerned.
Incumbent manager Jerry Sibanda is reportedly eyeing the secretary’s post while the son former late chairman James Mangwana Tshuma, Jabulani, has confirmed he will be contesting for the committee member’s post.
Former striker Zenzo Moyo has urged former players to take control at the club and one name that has already been thrown into the hat is that of legendary Warriors skipper Peter Ndlovu, who is yet to confirm whether he will take part or not.