Nqobile Tshili, Sports Correspondent
BULAWAYO councillors have rejected the proposed plan to reduce Bulawayo City FC board members from 12 to seven saying the issue was smuggled without following proper channels.
The city’s mayor Martin Moyo ruled that the matter be discussed at committee and subcommittee levels before it is brought before a full council meeting.
This comes after the City’s Housing and Community Services acting director Dictor Khumalo had proposed that the board members be reduced citing extravagant spending.
He said the club now needs about $1 million to complete the season instead of the nearly $800 000 budgeted.
The latest council report states that reducing the number of board members to seven could be one of the ways to cut costs.
Debating the matter during a full council meeting last week, most councillors were against reducing the board members to seven.
Board chairman Siboniso Khumalo said the board should be credited for doing well in ensuring that the football team was running smoothly.
He questioned the criteria that will be used to chop the five board members.
“The board is fine as it is. If the matter is about cutting costs we are just meeting three times a year. We have been meeting without getting allowances and all the board members serve in different clusters. How are you going to remove the five people? Using which criteria? Let’s not destroy something that is working well,’ he said.
Another councillor Mlandu Ncube jumped to Khumalo’s defence saying the agenda was smuggled into a full council meeting.
Ncube said the 12 member board was constitutionally elected hence the constitution should be amended to remove some of its members.
“There are procedures that need to be followed. We have been travelling with the team without getting any allowances but we’ve never complained. We have been using our resources. This duty requires dedication and sacrifice and we’re doing our best to make sure the team moves forward,” said Ncube.
Another councillor Collet Ndlovu claimed those advancing the agenda of reducing the number of board members did not have the club’s interest.
However, Clr Silas Chigora supported the move to reduce the board members saying councillors should be reasonable as the city was struggling financially.
“We have a bloated board even private companies don’t operate with 12 board members. We can’t afford such a big board with a football team funded by rate payers’ money. I support that we reduce the board members to seven people. Even the football team has 11 players yet we have a board that is bigger than the team. Let’s be cost conscious as responsible city fathers,” said Chigora. — @nqotshili