FORMER Highlanders chairman Ernest “Maphepha” Sibanda was yesterday disqualified from contesting the top-flight football club’s top post during the vetting process at 50 Robert Mugabe Way leaving incumbent Peter Dube to retain the position unopposed.
Dube, who is also the Premier Soccer League (PSL) vice-chairman, and Sibanda were the only candidates for the chairmanship which was one of the positions up for grabs for the upcoming Bosso elections.
There were indications even before he was disqualified that there could be problems with Sibanda’s nomination.
The electoral court which was conducted by Luke Mnkandla, Jimmy Ncube and Elkanah Dube took long to make a decision with regard to Sibanda’s nomination and probably for the sake of privacy had to move to the office’s boardroom where they met him and his agent, businessman Archer Ncube.
Other nominees were attended to in the front office.
“They have disqualified me. That is all I can say,” said a clearly disappointed Sibanda as he left the Highlanders offices with his agent in his Freelander vehicle.
Returning officer Mnkandla confirmed Sibanda’s disqualification saying it was according to the constitution.
“I do not think there is much to say. We used Article 10:7 which gives the electoral court the powers to receive, approve or disqualify a candidate,” he said.
Mnkandla continued: “We found him (Sibanda) not to be in good standing and this will be announced to the general members.”
Sibanda has been accused of allegedly misappropriating funds in the transfer of Obadiah Tarumbwa to a Belgian club.
He was pardoned by the club’s disciplinary committee after he admitted the charge and paid back the funds.
Mnkandla affirmed that technically Dube who was the other candidate retains his post as chairman of the club.
“We realise that Dube is now the only candidate that is left and the announcement (him retaining the chairmanship post) will only be done at the AGM. He is the only one and it is very unfortunate.
Technically he is unopposed. It is a sad development,” said Mnkandla.
Both candidates had come under-fire as a section of the Bosso supporters were saying Dube had failed to win the championship in three seasons while Sibanda was haunted by the Tarumbwa issue.
Former player Colsen Mabeza was also disqualified from contesting under Article 9:1 of the constitution which states that 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, immediately preceding nomination.
“Colsen Mabeza was disqualified under Article 9:1. He was standing for the committee member’s post. It is unfortunate that he was disqualified. We have done our best and have come up with a list of candidates that have qualified to stand,” he said.
Initially 13 candidates collected nomination forms with 10 submitting and two being disqualified.
Other candidates who were vetted and sailed through are Emmet Ndlovu, Donald Ndebele, Faith Silandulo Dube, Innocent Batsani Ncube, Pilate Mahlangu and Njabulo Bango for the secretary-general’s post.
Committee member Charles “Six One” Moyo also qualified and will stand against Cleopas Ngano and Wisdom Mabhena.