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Highlanders need some bold decisions


KELVIN Kaindu is gone and Mark Mathe is now in charge at Highlanders Football Club.

NewsDay Editorial

And he got a 4-0 whacking in his first game in charge on Sunday.
Now, that’s a really bad result — a result that weighs down heavily on the decision makers at the country’s oldest football institution.

Peter Dube and his executive and the board of directors chaired by Mgcini Nkolomi must admit that it’s been a good two-year nine-month relationship with Kaindu where they finished as runners-up twice and won the Mbada Diamonds Cup.

They must also concede that Kaindu excelled with a bunch of average players, motivated them to play for results and fought from the first day of the league to the last day.

The Highlanders bosses must be the first to admit that they have made injudicious deals in the transfer market as well.

They have neglected a system that brought them glory — junior football.

A quick look at the 2006 team that won the league title under Methembe Ndlovu will show that only Tapuwa Kapini and Ralph Mathema did not grow up in the Highlanders culture, but because they found a system inculcated into everybody there, the results were easy to come.

No doubt Highlanders must turn back to their juniors now.
Indiscipline is the order of the day at Highlanders today —players leave bars early in the morning ahead of a big match against Caps United; some spend the whole week in court, but are thrust into the starting line-up; a reliable goalkeeper is dropped in favour of a panicky one — this in itself is indiscipline from the technical team to the players.

There is no doubt that those who have grown up in the culture of the club cannot do such a thing.

Regrettably, Dube and Nkolomi also have to admit that it was not a wise decision to wean Kaindu of his preferred technical team, that is parting ways with Tembo Chuma and Bekithemba Ndlovu, and impose Mathe and Peter Nkomo on Kaindu.

Now the chickens have come home to roost, unfortunately, at a crucial time in the league race.

It is now time for bold decisions. They must understand that the Mbada Diamonds Cup does not matter anymore; neither does the Chibuku Super Cup. What matters is the future of this great club. Rebuilding must start now and the next five games should be an opportunity to do away with those that don’t want to be associated with the club, even if it means the executive.

For years, the Highlanders administration has been the envy of many, but when they fail to deal with a simple issue of firing or hiring a new and competent coach, it becomes disturbing, especially when the team is sitting on a pretty sponsorship from BancABC and kitted by Adidas.

They are a community team which has followed its constitution like the Bible and developed structures acquiring properties to back them financially, hence they must not lose track at a crucial moment. Elections are due on the last Sunday of January 2015, but that is a date too far to ignore in such an emergency.

Understandably, the fans will be angry. That is why there was violence at Hartsfield. The club leaders must respect the club members and take the best of decisions for the betterment of the club.

Clearly, they got it all wrong in both the playing material and the coaching department.

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