• Bulawayo football giants Highlanders are set to hold elections for the post of club chairman, secretary general and committee member on February 7, 2021.
• The Mirror caught up with club chairperson and businessman Kennedy Mhlophe who is seeking re-election into office. Mhlophe has been at the helm of the club since February 2018 after winning elections.
• Mhlophe whose first three-year term is best described by his securing of a club gold mining claim in Inyathi, clearing off of a 15-year long-standing US$ 68 000 debt, strengthening relations between the club and its stakeholders and securing a three-year US$30 000 kit sponsorship with a UK firm told The Mirror that he is seeking a second term in office to create financial stability which will see the club prosper on and off the pitch.
• He said that he wants the club to compete in regional competitions and not drown in debt. His vision is driven by mining; he also said he has secured a sponsor to cater for the day-to-day expenses of the club while the executive focuses on the mining business.
Below are excerpts from Mhlophe’s interview with Constantine Chagonda highlighting his vision, successes and prospects.
CC: What are the major highlights of your three-year tenure
KM: My first term in charge of the club was fruitful. Under my leadership the club managed to clear the 15-year standing US$86 000 legacy debt by strengthening relations with stakeholders who contributed towards debt eradication. The club even managed to pay players and the technical bench through the contributions after our Netone sponsorship was terminated in February 2020. I also secured a three-year kit sponsorship deal for US$ 30 000 with On The Ball (OTB) Look Sportswear, a United Kingdom-based firm. The club also managed to secure an Arenel sponsorship for bottled water and drinks. The kit sponsorship also extends to the U13s and the Bosso-90 side that plays in Division One.
CC: Why are you seeking re-election
KM: I have unfinished business especially on the mining project. I want to leave a legacy of financial stability and discipline at the club. I have engaged a sponsor to foot the day-to-day bills of running the club whilst the executive focuses on the mining business. We have a prospective partner for the mining venture who has the equipment and expertise. If this is done, Highlanders will be able to compete and win trophies. I also secured a sponsor who is revamping our three training grounds at the club house. One ground has been completed and renovations on the second ground should be completed by the end of March. The ground had since been abandoned. I want the mine to be managed professionally and reach a point where we will no longer need outside sponsorship because with mining it is possible to manage our own affairs. We can be self-sufficient, that is buy any player we want or develop our own junior team. Our team should go for CAF competitions and compete. All this can be achieved if the visionaries stay in place and continue developing the vision until we are financially stable. https://masvingomirror.com