Sikhumbuzo Moyo, Senior Sports Reporter
FIVE votes were the difference as Johnfat Sibanda ousted incumbent Kenneth Mhlophe from the Highlanders chairmanship post in elections held at the clubhouse yesterday.
Sibanda, who is a farmer and pharmacist, garnered 154 votes of the Highlanders’ members that attended the elective meeting compared to 149 for Mhlophe.
Incumbent Israel Moyo also lost to challenger, Victoria Falls-based Morgan ‘Gazza’ Dube in the secretary-general’s contest, getting 91 votes against Dube’s 212.
Underdog Mgcini Mafu got 176 votes to beat Bheka Sibanda for the committee member’s post. Sibanda got 128.
“Highlanders has been returned to its owners. We now need to move on and embrace each other as a family. For now I would be lying to immediately say that Bosso will indeed win the championship until I see what has been happening but okukhona iBosso inqobile namhlanje,” said the new Highlanders’ chaiman Sibanda.
“I believe I won because I told people the truth. I said this is their team and it’s time now for them to get their team back. I, however, want to state clearly that today Bosso won and the election season is done and dusted, we are one as Highlanders’ members, ayihlome,” he said.
Sibanda inherits a club that has not won the championship since 2006 and with the season starting in May, he has an enormous task to ensure Bosso followers are happy.
Incoming secretary-general Dube said he was coming into Highlanders to serve the people not himself.
“People have spoken, members have said one Gazza should be the club secretary and I promise them that I will do my best. I want to say thank you especially those that voted for me. It’s done, let’s work together now for the good of the club,” said Dube.
Mafu said he always knew that members believed in him.
“I will continue talking about what I said in my manifesto. I am a Highlanders’ servant now and will make sure I do what members expect me to do,” said Mafu.
Voting kicked off just after 10am, with Vungu constituency MP Omega Sibanda the first to cast his vote.
“The turnout is excellent; candidates are there and members have the right to choose who they want, but at the end of the day, we are one big family as Highlanders,” said Sibanda immediately after casting his vote.