Sikhumbuzo Moyo, Senior Sports Reporter
In 2018 Highlanders launched a #buyPrinceDube fundraising campaign and just below US$400 was raised out of the expected US$3500.
The following year, Ezra ‘Tshisa’ Sibanda ran an online fundraising project and managed to raise US$1 567 and in July this year, the club executive launched another fundraising campaign, as the Bulawayo giants struggled to raise salaries for their players, with strikes and sit-ins being the order of the day.
A figure of US$14000 per month was targeted, but what was raised was way below the target.
All these fundraising initiatives were meant to keep the club afloat as a going concern.
While the target constituency is usually the members and fans, non-Highlanders fans or members are known to have bailed out the club like in the 2018 Prince Dube fund where a staunch Dynamos supporter Lawrence Gwati, who runs LG Foods, was among the first to donate towards the cause.
A few weeks ago, Highlanders got into bed with Sakunda Holdings owned by business tycoon Kuda Tagwirei. The deal was signed at a time the club’s future was uncertain.
It was signed during the course of the fundraising campaign to raise US$14000 per month, with the campaign already in it’s third month and yet to reach the one-month target.
The Sakunda Holdings deal will see Highlanders getting US$450 000 in salaries and allowances for players and technical staff per season for three years, US$60 000 annually in signing-on fees and a similar figure for administration.
On Sunday, Tagwirei visited the Bosso offices and undertook to renovate the building. With all this, there’re still some Highlanders’ members and supporters grumbling, claiming the club has been sold.
They just can’t applaud this remarkable sponsorship, which ensures the continued existence of Highlanders.
To them, Tagwirei has been sent by faceless people with ulterior motives, which only they are aware of.
All these people are good at is to criticise, but when it comes to standing up for the team, they are nowhere to be seen.
With so much followers, Bosso couldnt get to US$400 in the buy Prince Dube campaign. They were failing to raise a one-month salary bill and yet when Sakunda Holdings comes on board and almost doubles the salary bill to US$26000 per month, people come up with all sorts of unfounded allegations and misplaced fears.
One wonders what the problem really is. Bosso have previously been sponsored by BancABC and NetOne, and there was no grumbling at all. Why now?
Some Highlanders members and supporters make so much noise over trivial issues yet fail to donate even a single cent when the need arises.
The Sakunda Holdings sponsorship has no other conditions other than Bosso giving them mileage, but there’re still some so called “cultural custodians” of the club crying foul, claiming team has been sold.
Misplaced pride has been some Highlanders’ members and supporters’ biggest downfall.
We have people saying it’s better to die than be a beggar. This is a two-way arrangement, Highlanders will get funding while Sakunda Holdings will get mileage; it’s a business arrangement, nothing more nothing less.
What is even funny is that those that have stood by the club, those who have responded to the call to assist before have not made any noise about the Sakunda Holdings deal.
In fact, they are over the moon.
It’s those who have done absolutely nothing to assist Highlanders that are making noise. Highlanders were literally dying right in front of everyone’s eyes and only a few brave men and women were having sleepless nights trying to keep it afloat.
Then when help came, those who were folding their arms and probably praying and hoping that catastrophe strikes, began to complain about the direction and source of the money.
It’s sad and unfortunate.