BY FORTUNE MBELE
Highlanders supporters in Harare are targeting to raise US$2 000 every month towards the sustenance of the club until a solution to its financial woes is found.
The club recently extended a begging bowl to well-wishers, who include fans, members and the corporate world, to assist the team as it reels under a financial crisis, which has seen it struggling to pay players and staff.
Harare chapter chairman Derrick Ncube yesterday confirmed that they had sent US$685 to the club, raised in a short space of time after a call to help the club was made.
“I can confirm that we have dispatched our treasurer to the Highlanders offices to donate US$685 which is what we have raised in a short space of time. We are targeting to raise $2 000 every month, while efforts are being made to find a new sponsor until a new trajectory is found to make sure we keep going under the COVID-19 conditions. That is what we have managed to put together,” Ncube said.
He said he was hoping other chapters across the world are doing the same or even more as it has been difficult for the club to survive when football activities remain banned.
Ncube said some of their members were chipping in with donations in Zimdollars, which he would not say exactly how much has been raised.
He pointed out that donations will not be the ultimate solution to the Bulawayo giants’ financial problem.
“The principal initiative that we have is to use our contacts to make sure we get sponsorship or partnerships for Highlanders. We need to get it through that bridge because we cannot sustain Highlanders by always extending a begging bowl. We need a sponsor who can take care of the team and not fly-by-night sponsors who make promises, but cannot deliver,” Ncube said.
It has not been easy for the Johnfat Sibanda-led Highlanders executive under the COVID-19 pandemic where players have twice staged sit-ins demanding their dues.
Last year, the Bulawayo giants lost the NetOne sponsorship and relied on well-wishers, but since Sibanda took over from businessman Kenneth Mhlophe and coupled with the COVID-19 challenges, things have taken a nose-dive at the club.
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