BY FORTUNE MBELE
Highlanders long-time benefactor Tshinga Dube has allayed fears that the club had been captured by the ruling Zanu PF party after government recently granted a mining claim to the Bulawayo football giants.
Dube, a Highlanders life member, expressed his sentiments at the club’s annual general meeting on Sunday following a barrage of attacks on social media by fans who were alleging that Bosso had been hijacked by the ruling party after the club last month gave President Emmerson Mnangagwa a personalised club replica jersey as a token of appreciation for the gold mine offer.
“I have heard that social media is abuzz with some people accusing others of selling the club to Zanu PF. That is not true. Football belongs to the people regardless of political affiliation. It is known that the Queen of England supports Liverpool. There are Highlanders members who are politicians and some are civil servants and so forth, but we cannot look at things in this way. We have Omega Sibanda (Zanu PF MP), he is a politician, but he is a member of Highlanders. We have Justice (Nicholas) Mathonsi here and he is a member of Highlanders,” he said.
“So it is not correct to mix these things because even Dynamos as it is has a number of politicians. Does it then mean that if you are in the Highlanders executive committee then you must buy Zanu PF membership cards? No! Let us correct this mentality,” Dube said.
Mnangagwa is FC Platinum patron.
Concerning the mining project, Highlanders chairman Kenneth Mhlophe said sponsorships are hard to come by, hence the need to be innovative and come up with own funding initiatives.
“Pursuant to the deliberate strategic focus of diversification and realising that for the club to achieve its plans, it is important to redefine our reality and find means of funding,” he said.
“With the assistance of various arms of government, we managed to apply for a special mining claim in a reserved area and secured a licence,” Mhlophe said.
He added: “We are now at the stage of creating the vehicle that will proceed with the mining business and be owned by the club. We want to thank stakeholders who assisted in making the new possibility achievable as we try to change our fortunes.”
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