Bosso paying price for 2012 success

BULAWAYO - Zambian Kelvin Kaindu enjoyed a magnificent debut season as the Highlanders head coach by leading the Bulawayo giants to a second place finish in the league race last season.

This was unexpected as Kaindu had inherited a team made up mainly of players who had been off-loaded by their former teams after being deemed excess baggage.

To his credit, the former Highlanders striker moulded these players into an exciting outfit that went on to lose out on the league title on the final day of the season because of an inferior goal aggregate.

On their way to their second place finish, Highlanders managed to chalk up a 23-match unbeaten run  that for a long time positioned the Bulawayo giants as the clear favourites for the league championship.

That run was ended by former champions Monomotapa at Rufaro Stadium in the second half of the season.

Bosso were eventually overtaken by defending champions Dynamos, who went on to successfully defend their title but the seeds of optimism had already been sown in the minds of the Bosso faithful.

For that trailblazing run had been achieved at a time when Kaindu had stated publicly that his goal was to build a team that would be serious championship contenders in the 2013 season.

Things have not gone according to the script though in the current season as Highlanders have already lost four times within the first half of the league programme.

This has created a lot of tension within Internet social networking sites with a lot of conspiracy theories being thrown around as to the reasons behind Bosso’s inconsistent performance this year.

The reluctance by the Highlanders leadership to embrace technology and set up official platforms where they can inform their followers of developments at the club has played into the hands of radical elements, who have taken to spewing vitriol on the Internet.

And as a result, a lot of abuse has been directed at Highlanders legend Willard Mashinkila Khumalo, who is being accused by some of being behind the team’s non-performance.

Mashinkila Khumalo is a former Bosso captain, who served the club with distinction in the 80s and 90s before returning as a coach at the turn of the millennium.

His coaching tenure did not realise much success for the club and he parted ways with the team and he went on to coach other teams both locally and outside the country.

A fans’ favourite during his playing days, Mawii bounced back at Highlanders at the beginning of the season when he replaced his former teammate Amin Soma-Phiri as the Highlanders welfare manager.

This post requires Mashinkila Khumalo to look after the players’ welfare and besides the Hwange incident when Highlanders travelled to the Colliery without a second strip of uniform there have been no reports that the burly former Warriors player is failing in his duties.

It is mind boggling then why Mashinkila Khumalo has become the target of hate from a section of fans on social networks.

What influence if any does the Highlanders welfare manager have over any of the players since very few worked under him when he was in charge many years ago?

And lest we forget, former manager Soma-Phiri was the victim of similar accusations last season when Highlanders were playing badly.

The question therefore is; if there is any grain of truth in that there has been interference from Mashinkila Khumalo as the head coach Kaindu mentioned this in his reports to the executive?

And if he has and no action has been taken then why not go public because at the end of the day the buck stops with him when it comes to the team’s performance?

Some have accused Highlanders chairperson Peter Dube of having a vendetta against Kaindu that goes back to the days when the Zambian experienced clearance issues when he left the club in the 90s.

They claim Mashinkila Khumalo was brought in so that he can take over from Kaindu, who the Bosso boss has not forgiven for taking the club to task in the past.

But the issue of bringing in a former Highlanders son to be team manager was started by the former executive that was led by Themba Ndlela and the idea was to rotate the manager every year as a way of honouring former greats.

The Zambian coach may have proffered the best explanation for the uproar that has followed his team’s slump in form in a recent media interview when he said Highlanders were now suffering the backlash of last season’s good run.

“It is just that people are judging us in comparison to where we were this time last season,” Kaindu said.

“It is always difficult for any team to be consistent throughout the year.”

The Highlanders executive is reported to have expressed their dissatisfaction with the team’s performance and measures are said to be underway to reinforce the team during the transfer window.

Unheralded striker Gabriel Nyoni, who has been on loan at Southern Region Division One log leaders Bulawayo Chiefs is said to be on his way back to Bosso to beef up a strike force that has failed to hit the target in recent matches.

But the Highlanders leadership has to bear in mind that players need motivation to perform and should therefore honour their financial commitments and pay out outstanding winning bonuses and signing-on fees.

A lot can still happen in the remaining half of the season and in an interview before their recent match against CAPS United Kaindu told the Daily News that, “pressure will always be part of the game but what matters is how one handles the pressure.”

Comments (5)

Please lets get rid of Willard Khumalo ,We a tired to see our beloved team fall all the time

lawrence Ncube - 11 July 2013

Highlanders is a big team but is run by people who are confused, they should revive junior programs for youth development so that they have players who will know the club's philosophy and have hearty no a bunch of average if not below par players we are seeing these days

Trinos Nyoni - 11 July 2013

its also mind boggling why highlanders fans can accusee Mawii n vent their wrath on some other sappoters come match day.if they really admit tht their team is not playing well,why have they caused BF to be a war zone than it is a place for the beautiful game?is football really beautifull in Bulawayo with hooligans n thugs masquarading as fans. watever it is,fans should not expect the executive to perfom when they,themselves are "war veterans".how i pray tht some teams from the capital shoud donate points to bosso n never play so as to appease their fans.its appalling to find fans baying for each others blood when players are hugging each other. Disapointed fan

ndn - 11 July 2013

Barbourfields the land of the ANGRY! There is so much one can take as a football fan. There is so much to love about the game but only when you are miles away from Bulawayo in general and BF in particular. Football in that part of the world is war, football is not a beautiful game; football is knives, concrete stones, vandalism of cars and tribal slurs. Football is scary in Bulawayo; it is scary to the level that it is like those Friday the 13th horror movies we used to watch back in the day when ZBC was something you could actually take seriously. And so it was a horror movie this weekend when Caps United invaded that city to play perennial league near-men, Bosso. It is not an understatement that Caps United was robbed in the field of play and violently beaten after the match. What we witnessed was as appalling as Kenny Ndebele's blind eye to it all. Kenny Ndebele was there and to profess ignorance is to be stupid at most and biased at worst. Stones flew after the game was done and the referee had cheated; the water cannons and the anti-riot police had to work overtime to protect everyone who wore green and even spoke Shona. One fan was beaten so much that he lay on the tarmac unattended to. Commuter Omnibuses bearing the Caps united flags were rained upon by missiles of all nature. Why are these people so angry? Were it Dynamos vs Bosso the violence would have recorded deaths. But I digress. BF has become a haven of hooliganism, the stadium you cannot take your family to. It is a place where Bosso fans come to pour their frustrations for all their failures in life and otherwise, that kind of place you do not need to visit for fun.

chops - 11 July 2013

In essence BF is a warzone, something of a replica of Iraq or Egypt, in biblical reference a Jericho of some kind. It is a shame that this year Bosso fans have been involved in violence in other places. STOP IT! We want football, we want peace. Let us respect football and let us be fair. What did the wise man say once: “Football is like life - it requires perseverance, self-denial, hard work, sacrifice, dedication and respect for authority.” My worry is why blame Mashinkila and may be Peter Dube and then turn this stadium into what you ,the hooligans have turned into.i have alredy sworn that i wont attend any match involving Bosso if i am serious with my life. am sure there is more to this violence than meet the eye and this has nothing to do with the team's poor showing. i rest my kaindu said,no team can win every game.even the mighty Barca jaggarnaut was stopped ,so was the cash splashers Real Madrid wth the most revered coach of our time but no 1 lost his tooth,but come to Bf,thenfootball will be redefined

chops - 11 July 2013

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