BY FORTUNE MBELE
DESPITE assurances that their salaries will be deposited soon, the majority of Highlanders’ senior players yesterday continued to stay away from training with the strike entering the second week ahead of the ZNA Charity Shield final at Barboufields Stadium on Sunday.
The striking players made it to Barbourfields Stadium yesterday, but refused to train and an address by chairman Kenneth Mhlophe did not yield any positive outcome as the players remained defiant saying they would only start training after their salaries reflected on their bank accounts.
The players embarked on an industrial action once again last week demanding their January and February salaries.
Emerging from the meeting with the players yesterday, Mhlophe confirmed the boys had refused to train.
“I don’t know who they want to trust if they cannot trust me. I told them that as I addressed the meeting, their monies were being processed and would reflect any minute and they should go for training. But they refused. I asked them what they were going to do if their monies reflected. Would they go for training?
And what are they going to say to the coach; that we are back?” he said.
Mhlophe said the boys were going to have problems with the coach and there was no way they were going to take part in the ZNA Charity Cup without training.
“The coach has also said that he cannot use players that are not training because that will be unfair to the players that are training. They cannot be training for others. Most likely, the players that are at training will play in the ZNA Charity Shield.
Coach Madinda Ndlovu has selected a number of players from the club’s Division One side Bosso 90, who trained together with striker Prince Dube, defenders Andrew Mbeba and Vincent Moyo as well as Mbekezeli Sibanda and Russell Chifura.
Dube signed with Highlanders in October last year together with Bukhosi Sibanda, while Mbeba and Moyo were promoted from Bosso 90.
Mbekezeli signed in January this year and played for Division One side Talen Vision before he went to Slovakia where he had a brief stint with Division Three side MSK Puchov, while Chifura is from Aces Youth Soccer Academy in Harare.
Bukhosi Sibanda was not part of the players on industrial action and did not train because he was recovering from an injury.
The senior players who were not part of the training yesterday include Peter Muduhwa, Ariel Sibanda, Tendai Ndlovu, Denzel Khumalo, Brain Banda, Mbongeni Ndlovu, Maclive Phiri, Adrian Silla, Ben Musaka, Tinashe Makanda, Ray Lunga, Godfrey Makaruse and new signings Nqobizitha Masuku, Cleopas
Kapupurika and goalkeeper Wellington Muuya.