Ricky Zililo, Senior Sports Reporter
HIGHLANDERS players have been slapped with suspended sentences for staging a three-week strike during the club’s pre-season preparations between February and March.
Bosso summoned players for a hearing at the beginning of the month and delivered the verdict last week before the team went on to beat Dynamos 2-0 in the Independence Cup final.
After the Independence Cup win, Highlanders went on to lose 1-0 at home against Triangle United.
Highlanders chief executive officer Nhlanhla Dube confirmed that the strike matter has been resolved, with players given the verdict of the hearing.
“The hearings were done and the judgment has since been communicated to the players. Parties are fully conversant with the conclusion and are at peace with the outcome. The outcome was communicated before we played against Dynamos in the Independence Cup,” said Dube.
The Footballers Union of Zimbabwe (Fuz) represented the players at the hearing where they said: “What is obvious is that there is a need to educate our members. Both clubs and Fuz have a responsibility to educate players. With regards to this Highlanders case, the major thing was to make sure that an amicable solution is reached. We also discussed how best to help the boys”.
Highlanders drew some backlash from some supporters who felt that the hearing was “intimidating” the players while some argued that the prolonged delay in concluding the matter was affecting players.
Highlanders players should put the issue of the strike behind them as they head into today’s encounter against Mushowani Stars in Harare.
Winless in the opening four games and with just two points, Highlanders are hard-pressed for a victory to take off pressure from the players and make their fans who are becoming impatient, happy.
Bosso skipper Ariel Sibanda believes they are closer to getting the much needed break.
“We’re looking forward to turning things around with the game that we’re facing at the weekend against Mushowani Stars. It won’t be easy but we’re always ready to fight for maximum points.
“The boys are okay, they are working hard, we’re not looking much into what happened but we’re looking forward to what we can do and what we can achieve. There’s no need to look back, what’s done is done, we’ve to fight on and chase that dream (winning the championship),” said Sibanda.
While Bosso head to Harare to try and manage the situation that they have dug themselves into, their perennial rivals Dynamos visit Bulawayo to face TelOne at Barbourfields Stadium tomorrow.
Dynamos fired coach Lloyd “MaBlanyo” Chigowe after Easter Monday’s defeat to Herentals and roped in Tonderai Ndiraya.
Winless Bulawayo Chiefs visit the lion’s den at the National Sports Stadium tomorrow to face fired-up Caps United while Hwange will be aiming to bounce back to winning ways when they host Manica Diamonds at the Colliery Stadium.
Match Day Five fixtures
Today: Harare City v Black Rhinos (Rufaro), Mushowani Stars v Highlanders (National Sports Stadium), Chicken Inn v FC Platinum (Luveve), ZPC Kariba v Yadah (Nyamhunga)
Tomorrow: Caps United v Bulawayo Chiefs (National Sports Stadium), Triangle United v Chapungu (Gibbo), Hwange v Manica Diamonds (Colliery), Herentals v Ngezi Platinum (Rufaro), Telone v Dynamos (Barbourfields)