WITH Highlanders’ executive committee elections due on February 4, the barring of Ernest “Maphepha” Sibanda from contesting the position of chairman, is likely to headline debate at the team’s annual general meeting (AGM) slated for tomorrow.
Among other items on the agenda, candidates for the positions of the chairman, secretary and committee member will be presented to the club members.
BY FORTUNE MBELE
Businessman Kenneth Mhlophe was on Monday cleared by the nomination court and as in 2015, when Peter Dube became chairman unchallenged, the club benefactor will also sail through without challenge.
Sibanda was barred from contesting in 2015 elections over financial irregularities, a case which has come back to haunt him again this time on.
Israel Moyo, Siphatho Ncube and Nkululeko Ndlovu were cleared to contest for the secretary’s post while Wisdom Mabhena, Peacot Dlomo, Charles Moyo and Silandulo Sibanda are up for the position of committee member.
When the Highlanders board met to deliberate on his request on Tuesday evening they ruled that since Sibanda was pardoned for his misdemeanours he had not shown any commitment to the club and they resolved that he would have to start at the lowest point in the club structures.
However, some members are of the feeling that the board’s action violates the club’s constitution on elections as the nomination court had okayed his papers.
Social media has been awash with debate during the week following Sibanda’s censure.
One member of the club cites Article 10 of the Highlanders constitution and wonders if the board was in tandem with club’s law book in barring Sibanda from participating in the elections.
“The key issue here is about the disqualification of Ernest Maphepha Sibanda from contesting the chairmanship position by the board. After going through the said response by the board, valid as some of the points made may be, I failed to find the relevant clause in the Highlanders constitution on which the decision to bar Mr Sibanda was based on,” the member said.
Article 10.7 of the constitution states that the nomination court is empowered to receive nominations and vet candidates in line with Article 9 which deals with the qualification for the executive committee posts.
However, another member questioned why Sibanda had written to the board before picking up his nomination papers if he was pardoned in 2012 and had his membership reinstated.
Another issue that is likely to be raised by the club members tomorrow is the pending constitutional review process at the club with the review committee having done its duty and come up with a draft document which was supposed to be deliberated on by the members but that was never done.
With the chairman and treasurer’s reports to be tabled tomorrow, members will want to get a financial update on the sale of striker Prince Dube to South Africa’s SuperSport United in July and monies owed the club by South African clubs for players previously sold there.
The club’s ballooning debt, now close to $1 million, has been a continuous debate at the club’s general meetings over the years.