Sikhumbuzo Moyo, Senior Sports Reporter
HIGHLANDERS’ members that antagonise the team’s leadership on social media will now have their membership revoked as such actions damage the club and sponsors’ brands.
This was one of three major resolutions adopted by members at the club’s mid-year review meeting held in Bulawayo at the weekend, with the other being that life members will now pay $200 in annual subscriptions.
Members also adopted and approved the appointment of Nicholas Nyathi and Methuseli Mafu to the Highlanders’ board of directors.
“Disciplinary measures will be taken against members who cause damage to the club and sponsors by peddling false and unverified information and denigrating the club and sponsors on social media,” reads the resolution.
Presenting his report to members, Highlanders’ chairman Kenneth Mhlophe said his leadership was extremely disturbed by the continued use of social media to cause irreparable damage to the club and its sponsors and called upon members to desist from such acts.
“We meet at a time where the use and often, sadly so, abuse of social media to denigrate club officers, executive committee, board members and confidentiality seems to be fashionable.
While the actors may feel and indeed claim their democratic right of expression, it is always important to appreciate that false accusations carelessly thrown into the public have far reaching negative implications on the image and brand of the club.
Many times these careless posts and stories drag the names of our sponsors into uncomfortable streets and threaten the great relationships which have been painstakingly built over time.
“I urge members to take heed of our appeal for responsible behaviour and to follow the internal channels of grievance airing.
This I wish to put in parenthesis, let us always seek facts, speak facts, share facts and criticise factually and constructively,” said Mhlophe.
Other members, however, felt the club must also rein in members in authority like in the supporters’ chapter that are in the habit of always propagating anti-government posts via various social media platforms.
“It must be noted that our principal sponsors are owned by the government of Zimbabwe and one cannot then be seen antagonising the same hand that feeds us, calling its leadership by all sorts of names. Surely such characters must also be reined in by the club because keeping quiet is tantamount to condoning their behaviour.
We need the club to publicly denounce such behaviour, failure of which we shall take it those people are acting on instruction from Highlanders’ leadership,” said an observer.