Sikhumbuzo Moyo, Senior Sports Reporter
HOW Mine FC has folded up after its principal sponsor decided to review its corporate social responsibility strategy to focus on projects that are mandated and driven by the local community.
In a statement last night, Metallon Management Services public relations manager Ranga Mberi said the company was in the process of meeting its contractual obligations to its playing and coaching personnel.
“Bulawayo Mining Company, the holding company for How Mine and principal sponsors of How Mine FC, announces that it has reached an agreement with the Premier Soccer League to surrender the How Mine FC Premiership franchise.
“BMC is reviewing its corporate social responsibility (CSR) strategy with the aim to focus on projects that are mandated and driven by the local community. BMC’s future community investment policy is primarily focused on public infrastructure, education and healthcare,” said Mberi in the statement.
He said going forward, their strategy will be centred on working with stakeholders, including communities, traditional leaders, legislators, civic organisations, non-governmental organisations and Government to step up the company’s CSR initiative in education and healthcare development.
“We intend to focus on our ongoing primary healthcare facility at How Mine, which serves at least 600 patients monthly from our immediate and surrounding communities every month. We intend to work with the community to construct new classroom blocks as well as rehabilitating old education infrastructure. We intend to provide primary and secondary education to surrounding communities, provide free transport to children from our community, who are enrolled at How Mine schools, and we also intend to increase our involvement in the construction and rehabilitation of primary healthcare facilities in our community.
“How Mine FC is now in the process of meeting all contractual obligations to How Mine FC players and coaching staff. We wish to pay tribute to the great fans of How Mine FC, the PSL and all members of the Premiership fraternity for their support since our entry into the Premiership in 2013. BMC is a responsible corporate citizen and is committed to the development of the communities in which we operate,” Mberi said.
How Mine finished their maiden Premiership season in 2013 in eighth position after accumulating 42 points from 30 games. They won 12, lost the same number of games and drew six times.
Philani “Beefy” Ncube led them to the final of the 2013 Mbada Diamonds Cup in which they were mauled 3-0 by Highlanders at Barbourfields Stadium.
In 2014 they ended the season in eighth position and 11th in 2015.
Last year, they were placed seventh following a rough patch during which their players at one time boycotted training
Their 2018 pre-season preparations had been shrouded in secrecy, although the technical team has in the last couple of days tried to put up a brave face.
How Mine had lost the bulk of their players to other teams for the 2018 season following last season’s financial crisis.
Their Zambian coach Kelvin Kaindu also parted ways with the club, saying he couldn’t be a coach and counsellor without support from the executive.
Bekithemba Ndlovu was named substantive coach and given the responsibility to rebuild the squad for 2018 and he had been impressed with the players’ response during pre-season training.