Marriage of (in)convenience?

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THERE is an English idiom that says one should not look a gift horse in the mouth.

BY SAKHELENI NXUMALO

The Cambridge Idioms Dictionary says this means that one should not criticise or feel doubt about something good that has been offered to them.

Highlanders Football Club chief executive officer Ndumiso Gumede, in his bid to explain the involvement of political figures in the official presentation of their newly-acquired team bus on Saturday at Barbourfields Stadium, put the above saying in an African context at Highlanders’ weekly Press conference.

“Sometimes we worry ourselves too much about where something came from, particularly people from this region (Matabeleland). As someone who grew up in the rural areas, I believe that one should not be concerned about whose bull mounted their pregnant cow, but instead be glad at the impending growth of their herd,” Gumede said.

The Bosso leadership’s popularity ratings reached a new low in the run-up to Saturday’s official handover of the Marcopolo bus, which was sourced with the help of long-time benefactor Tshinga Dube, following the announcement that Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa would officiate at the ceremony.

Highlanders Bosso bus

It took some three years of waiting for the Highlanders family to finally get their hands on the team bus after they gave Dube their prize money from the Bob89 tournament in 2013 upon an agreement that he would top up and buy a suitable and big bus for the team.

This would degenerate into a very topical issue in the years that ensued with some of the team’s followers questioning the wisdom of such a transaction as time went by and the bus did not arrive.

At the beginning of this year, Dube announced during the Highlanders annual general meeting that the bus had been bought and all the team needed to do was to raise duty for the bus to be cleared to enter the country.

This seemingly easy task proved to be a mountain to climb for the Highlanders leadership as their books have been in the red for a good many years and revenue from the turnstiles has not been forthcoming largely due to insipid displays on the field of play.

Enter Dube once again!

Dube, who is the Zanu PF candidate for Makokoba constituency in tomorrow’s by-election, realised the opportunity that bailing out Highlanders would do for his candidature in the suburb and once again came to the rescue of the club, like he has on countless times done in the past.

colonel tshinga dube 1

While his timely intervention may have been a masterstroke as a campaign strategy, the inclusion of Mnangagwa to officiate at the official handover of the bus struck the wrong chord with Highlanders fans and the turnout at the stadium on Saturday was poor.

Mnangagwa was the State Security minister during the Gukurahundi massacres in the 1980s, hence the hostility from Highlanders fans.

After the noise that Highlanders fans created on social media in protest over Mnangagwa’s presence during the presentation ceremony, Dube is reported to have dismissed those making such statements as negative people who would never do anything for Highlanders.

He pointed out that his being a member of Zanu PF had never been an issue in the past when he assisted the club and added that he would not stop assisting Highlanders because of a few detractors.

The turnout was quite good at Manwele Beer Garden and Efusini, where a combined total of five beasts and 3 000 litres of opaque beer were reportedly availed to members of the public.

Prospects of scoring free food and beer at a time when most families are struggling to make ends meet certainly played a big part in enticing people to turn up for the festivities.

It remains to be seen, therefore, if the combination of the food, beer and Dube’s benevolence towards the country’s second biggest football club will deliver Makokoba constituency to Zanu PF.

What is certain though is that his beloved Highlanders Football Club have again benefited from the long-standing relationship that has, among other things, seen Dube paying the late British coach Eddie May’s salary during a golden period in the team’s fortunes at the turn of the century.

The 65-seater Marcopolo bus is white in colour and is emblazoned on the sides, front and back with Highlanders emblems and that of their main sponsor BancABC.

It has a built-in toilet.

Long-serving team driver Blaim Nkhoma, who has been driving the Highlanders Toyota Coaster mini-bus, will be the main driver.

Reliable sources told NewsDay Sport that an assistant driver whose duty would be to drive the mini-bus and relieve Nkhoma is being sought.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Black n white on the outside…..blue inside…..they fear n respect Dembare…..check the curtains color. Even if u change them coz I said so but we know and u know……Dembare ndibaba….

  2. If I was a Makokoba resident, I wo er, and can possibly get thinginsidovernmentuld vote for Tsinga Dube. He is a gs done, as opposed to vote for an unknown individual who wont influence anyone. Gumede is right , its the growth of the herd we should celebrate.

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