Gumede situation highlights cracks within Highlanders
THE suspension of Highlanders chief executive officer Ndumiso Gumede could have caused cracks within the Bulawayo giants, following contradictory Press statements made by club officials.
Last Friday, Gumede successfully contested his dismissal by the club at the Labour Court and Bosso who were represented by board member Davies Ndumiso Sibanda, who is also a labour expert, did not object to the veteran football administrator’s argument saying they were acting on Zifa instruction.
Sibanda who was mandated by the club to handle the matter said as Highlanders they were not prepared to go against the court ruling.
“Gumede is back at Highlanders in compliance with the laws of the land which Zifa also subscribes to and we’re not prepared to break them. If Zifa is aggrieved they know what to do,” said Sibanda.
However, two days after Sibanda spoke of Gumede’s return to work, the club’s secretary-general Emmett Ndlovu made a different statement distancing the club from the labour expert’s earlier remarks.
Ndlovu said: “The Highlanders position remains the same. The meeting we sat as a joint board and executive resolved to comply with a Zifa directive. Anything else that happens outside that resolution is not and will never be the position of Highlanders Football Club. We don’t want to be at variance with those who run football in this country.”
Highlanders then reacted by calling for a joint board and executive meeting which was held on Tuesday evening.
Mgcini Nkolomi, the club’s board chairman emerging from the meeting said all is well at the Bulawayo giants. He said Ndlovu’s “mischievous” statement does not signal divisions.
Nkolomi said the club is complying with the court order to reinstate Gumede who is on his annual leave.
“I want to put the record straight Highlanders is an organised institution with its leadership properly structured. I just want to put the record straight, I gave Sibanda the mandate to talk to the media about Gumede’s case. He heads an ad hoc committee that has himself, Cosmas Sikhosana and the acting executive chairman Modern Ngwenya. Everything Sibanda said was on board. The mischievous statement said to have been made by the said member (Ndlovu) is unfortunate but we didn’t talk about it at the meeting because Ndlovu is out of the country. Maybe he was quoted out of context and we will wait for him to clarify his statement. And besides, I wouldn’t say that because of the statements there are divisions within the club,” said Nkolomi.