Ricky Zililo Senior Sports Reporter—
MODERN Ngwenya is the new Highlanders vice-chairman after beating Bulawayo businessman Kenneth Mhlophe by four votes in elections held at the club house yesterday. The Harare-based Ngwenya got 90 votes to Mhlophe’s 86. Outgoing vice-chairman Mgcini Sibhalo Mpofu was a distant third with 19 votes while Nkosinathi Ncube received six votes.
In the treasurer’s election, incumbent Donald Ndebele retained his post after polling 115 votes to beat challenger Charles Ndlovu, who got 86. An excited Ngwenya, who was chairman of the Highlanders Harare Supporters Chapter, said he is going to spearhead constitutional changes that are presently underway at Highlanders to bring in a new commercial outlook at the country’s oldest football club.
He also said he was going to use his links to bring in more corporate support for Bosso.
“I’m very excited and very happy because I believe I’ve what it takes to be vice-chairman of Highlanders. I’m not just coming in to add numbers to the executive, but to add value to the club,” said Ngwenya.
“I believe I’ve the character, the deportment, the decorum, the propriety, the expertise and the aptitude to perform my duties at Highlanders.
“I believe that I’ve the aptitude concerning the constitutional reform as you know the club is working on adhering to the Fifa Club Licensing. I’m coming to an institution that already exists and I believe with a Modern Ngwenya effect, there’s going to be more levels of progress. I’ll try to harness resources from my friends in the corporate world and help grow the club’s junior development. Junior development is key to Highlanders’ cause,” he said.
Ngwenya said he will also play a key role in reviving sub-committees, which he feels are lying dormant.
Commenting on his election,Ndebele said he would continue with the projects they had started as the Highlanders’ executive moves to reduce the club’s debt, which has ballooned to more than $500,000.
Ndebele, who was co-opted into the club’s executive last year after Jerry Sibanda left to head Bulawayo City, also highlighted the need to improve management at the turnstiles. He noted that there were a lot of leakages in terms of revenue collected from gate-takings and wants to plug them.
“It’ll change because we’re looking at the business outlook of the club. We realised there were some leakages. We tried to put stop-gap measures to close leakages. We can’t completely close leakages without recognising that there are problems at the gates, but I believe that we’ve improved in that area and we’ll continue working on plugging the loopholes at the gates,” said Ndebele.
He said Highlanders’ revenue would improve if the team plays well.
“The problem with improving on gate-takings is that the play on the field reflects on the gates and other entities of Highlanders, which are the club house and Manwele Beer Garden. To improve on our revenue, the team needs to play entertaining football and win matches because everything is interlinked,” Ndebele said.
Welcoming the new executive members, Highlanders’ chairman Peter Dube said he hoped there would be a mutual working relationship. “At Highlanders there are no personalities and everyone who comes on board works for the good of the club. If we do well as the executive and club, we share the joy with many people. My hope is that we’re going to work well together so that we improve the club,” said Dube.