WITH Peter Dube safe and sound in his second term as Highlanders Football Club chairman, focus shifts to another hot potato at tomorrow’s elections — that of the secretary-general.
Outgoing secretary Andrew Tapela has served his constitutional two terms and is ineligible, leaving five candidates to do battle tomorrow morning at Highlanders Sports Club in North End, Bulawayo.
The five are Emmet Ndlovu, former club and Warriors medic Innocent Batsani Ncube, Donald Ndebele, Pilate Mahlangu and Njabulo Bango.
For the committee member, there are four candidates in the incumbent Charles Moyo and his challengers Wisdom Mabhena, perennial campaigner Cleopas Ngano and Faith Silandulo Dube.
In various interviews this week, all the candidates oozed with confidence they would get the votes from the Highlanders members.
Ndlovu: “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: “The 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.”
Ncube: “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.”
Mahlangu: “Building on the commendable work done by others before me, I would work to turn the 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 (CRM), 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.”
Bango: “When I come into office, I would want 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 the Highlanders brand and adding value to the band. I am a team player. The Highlanders brand is competitive and has an absolute advantage over.”
Moyo: “I would want to do something that will make Highlanders go forward. I would want to have someone who studies what I do in my role. 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 from what I do.”
Silandulo Dube: “I believe in team-work and respect for club and football statutes. I have my own passion and that is youth development. One of the reasons I am contesting is to encourage our young supporters to participate in our 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.”
Mabhena: “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 in the head of delegation. Why and how? 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.”
Ngano: “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.”