Maphepha camp feels hard done

Maphepha camp feels hard done
Published: 26 January 2018 (406 Views)
BARRED Highlanders aspiring chairman Ernest "Maphepha" Sibanda's camp strongly believes the club's constitution was trampled on by some ill-advised board members out to settle personal scores against him.

Maphepha was barred by the Bosso board of directors from contesting in the February 4 elective annual general meeting, arguing that he had offered his services to another football club.

He was employed as Bantu Rovers' chief of protocol when they were still in Division One in 2015 and the team was in direct competition with Highlanders' development side Bosso 90.

However, Victoria Falls-based Samuel Sibanda, who will contest the committee member's position against incumbent Wisdom Mabhena, Peacot Hadebe and Charles Moyo, also offered his services to another club virtually during the same period.

Samuel was chairman of Amagagasi in the Zifa Southern Region Division One league until last year and the club also directly competed against Bosso 90.

He, however, seems to have escaped the same scrutiny, going by some of the reasons the Bosso board used to reject Maphepha's candidature.

Maphepha's camp feels the board literally usurped powers of the club's Nomination Court, which is solely empowered to disqualify a candidate from running for office in terms of Article 10.5 to 10.8.

Article 10.5 reads: "For purposes of any executive committee election, there is hereby established a Nomination Court which shall be in charge of the entire election process.

10.7: The Nomination Court is empowered to receive nominations of candidates, to vet them, approve or disqualify a candidate and in doing so it shall be guided by the provisions of Article Nine of this Constitution.

10.8: The decision of the Nomination Court made in terms of this Article shall be final and shall be subject to no appeal.

Maphepha's manager Fiso Siziba said some people have been questioning their move to write a letter to the board appealing for full rehabilitation status if they knew their client was clean.

"The answer is simple; we just wanted to get clarity from the elders as to where Maphepha stands after the 2015 incident in which he was disqualified despite having served his three-year sentence meted in 2010. We wrote our letter on January 16 and on the following day board secretary Matthew Sibindi replied acknowledging receipt of the letter and said they will get back to us after deliberating on our case," said Siziba.

"However, when we realised that the closing the date for nominations was approaching without any communication from the board, we picked up our papers to avoid being caught unawares in the event we are cleared."

According to Siziba, Maphepha's nomination papers were picked up on Friday morning and within an hour, 17 life members had appended their signatures to the form, although the requirement says at least 10 members.

"On Monday January 22, we appeared before the Nomination Court and we were told that our papers, just like other candidates, had been scrutinised and sailed through, but as for our letter, the board will be meeting on the following day. Naturally and at law, the board meeting was just to confirm Maphepha's complete rehabilitation, not to discuss his candidature," said Siziba.

He said they would have accepted had the disqualification been done by the club's Nomination Court because the club constitution empowers it to.

"If this board was sincere in its dealings, it ought to have met over our letter well before closure of the nomination because we know that all of them, save for one, live in Bulawayo and we are convinced that if they had made this decision, shocking as it might be, before closing of the nomination court, we would not have wasted our time, but we believe as we hereby note, that the board wanted to eliminate us from the race quietly by deliberately postponing their meeting until after the closure of the process," said Siziba.

Sources said six out of the 10 board members voted against Sibanda's candidature, while four wanted him to contest.

- chronicle

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