Innocent Kurira, Sports Reporter
THE Highlanders Football Club Annual General Meeting yesterday turned out to be just a routine gathering after the club failed to produce audited financial statements for the year ending December 31 2022.
The meeting held at the Highlanders Clubhouse almost failed to take off as some members felt there was no logic in going ahead with the gathering without the financial report.
For close to an hour, the Highlanders board tried to convince the members that they should go on with the meeting without the financial report but some club members would not budge.
The board took the heat from members instead of the executive and treasurer Busani Mthombeni who was in attendance. Mthombeni, elected last year, taking over the position from Donald Ndebele who stepped down after serving two consecutive terms, never uttered a word during the entire AGM with members breathing fire over the absence of the audited financial statements.
Despite some members objecting to the gathering proceeding without the financials, eventually the card carrying supporters relented and the meeting proceeded.
It was however not the first time that the financials could not be presented to members during the AGM as that also once occurred when Ndebele was the club’s treasurer.
Mthombeni during his campaign promised to modernise the Highlanders finances when he defeated Xolisani Moyo to the position but after what transpired yesterday, many were wondering if they had voted for the right candidate.
Without the financials, Highlanders members will continue to speculate on issues such as the amounts paid by Jwaneng Galaxy of Botswana to secure Daniel Msendami and Nqobizitha Masuku.
“Our auditors informed us that they will need three to four weeks to finish their audit. What that therefore means is we will have another meeting where we will then present the financials. The auditors said one of the reasons for the delay is the issue of using multi-currency.
“The meeting went according to plan. We came here to give the members a brief on the work we did in 2022 and what is going to be happening this year. We conducted our meeting without any incidents which is good,’’ said Highlander’s executive committee secretary Morgan Dube in a side interview after the meeting.
Dube conceded that the gathering did not get off to a good note something which perturbed the members.
“We cannot hide from the fact that the meeting began on a sour note because there was no audit report and the progress report of constitutional amendments. This made members agitated but as the Highlanders family, we talk things through and deal with them in a civil manner which is what we did. We started on a bad patch but after that everything went well as we engaged with the members,” Dube said.
Bekezela Ngoma, a Highlanders member said: “The meeting went well but it’s unfortunate the financials were not there but we are hoping we will be back to deliberate on the financials. We were hoping for a better reason why the financials were not available because honestly, we started using multi-currency years back.”
Another member who preferred not to be named said: “The financials may not be in order, but it was best that the auditors come and inform us themselves rather than have the club relay the news to us.”
Highlanders members were also not happy with the situation of Adrian Silla and Devine Mhindirira who are yet to report for training. The players are said to be trying to find means of moving to Bosso’s bitter rivals Dynamos, despite being contracted to Amahlolanyama.
Highlanders have so far announced the departure of Bukhosi Sibanda, Nqobizitha Masuku and Muziwakhe Dlamini.
Bosso have recalled Reward Muza from loan at Bulawayo City, promoted Gillian Nyathi from Bosso90 while Calvin Chigonero has been loaned to them for a season by Talen Vision after scoring 17 goals in the Zifa Southern Region Division One.
Highlanders chairman Johnfat Sibanda informed members yesterday that Crispen Ncube and Toto Banda had been informed that they are not in coach Baltemar Brito’s plans for the 2023 season despite the two having running contracts.-– @innocent