Bosso fans clear $1m legacy debt

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Nigel Matongorere and
Viniel Deredza

HIGHLANDERS’ chairperson Kenneth Mhlophe has heaped praise on the club’s multitude of fans after they raised funds to clear the Bulawayo giants’ legacy debt, which was close to $1 million.

Bosso had been struggling with a large hole, which stood at $862 868, resulting in their passionate fans acting to help the club.

South Africa-based Bosso fan Nodumo Nyathi initiated a crowdfunding campaign using social media to connect thousands of the club’s fans around the world.

The campaign raised $100 000 in May before a further $300 000 was deposited into the Highlanders account in June.

Last Friday, Nyathi announced that the fundraising campaign had realised a further $410 000.

“I take this opportunity to thank Highlanders members, fans and sympathisers dotted all over the world, for their amazing contribution towards the crowdfunding initiative targeting the club’s legacy debt,” Mhlophe said in a statement yesterday.

“This collaborative effort between the Highlanders leadership and its members removes a heavy burden off the club, setting a conducive environment for the club’s new trajectory.

“After receiving an update on the incoming deposit on Friday, we will be paying out as soon as it is reflected in the relevant special purpose account after the holiday.
“This means that all relevant confirmations will be done in due course after payment is effected and reconciliation processes finalised.”

The Highlanders boss appreciated the unity shown by their fans and members during the fundraiser.

“I would like to extend my sincere gratitude to chapters, fan groups, and individuals who have been coordinating this initiative from their various bases,” Mhlophe said.

“Without your commitment, this historic feat could have been elongated, as a result, delaying the club’s movement towards a new trajectory.

“We are always stronger together, and as our common moniker aptly sums it up, uBuhle BeBosso Ngabandeli Bayo.”

Bosso were at times left in embarrassing situations in the past as bailiffs constantly knocked on the club’s doors.

In 2015, the club’s luxury coach which was donated by their benefactor and former War Veterans minister Tshinga Dube was attached by the Sheriff of the High Court over a debt owed to former club midfielder Masimba Mambare.

The bus was only released after the club paid Mambare his outstanding signing-on fees of $10 000.
Two years ago, the Bulawayo giants also had their bus attached due to outstanding payments to the National Social Security Authority (Nssa).

The Bulawayo giants have already used some of the instalments realised from the crowd-funding campaign to clear their Nssa account and pay what they owe to players.

With the club’s accounts now in the black, Bosso will be hoping to realise success on the field after many years of living in the shadows of their rivals Dynamos, CAPS United and, in recent times, FC Platinum.

Although they won the Chibuku Super Cup last year and the Mbada Diamonds Cup in 2013, the Bulawayo giants last won the league title in 2006.

Highlanders will have to wait a bit though before they can attempt another campaign to end their title drought due to the coronavirus (Covid19) pandemic.

The 2020 season should have commenced in March but had to be postponed after the government imposed a nationwide lockdown and banned all public gathering of more than 50 people.

At the moment, the Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) and the Premier Soccer League (PSL) are working on plans to start the season.

However, there has been a spike in coronavirus cases which might make it impossible for football to get the green light from the government to resume.

As of yesterday, 104 people had lost their lives from the 4 649 confirmed cases since Zimbabwe recorded its first Covid-19 patient.

It’s very likely that the season will only begin next year once health authorities have brought the virus under control.

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