BY FORTUNE MBELE
HIGHLANDERS players will for the next six months receive full salaries courtesy of a $3,6 million partnership between the club and internet service provider Utande.
The partnership deal was signed at the company’s offices yesterday afternoon by Highlanders chairman Johnfat Sibanda and the company chief executive officer Never Ncube.
“Today this partnership that we are launching will see Utande paying salaries for the first team players for the next six months and we are doing that for the tune of $3.6 million. We will also provide connectivity to the Highlanders offices. But this is a start to this relationship. We will review after six months,” Ncube said.
“I know what can come out when two big brands come together. We are more than excited from this partnership with Highlanders. We believe that a lot more will come out of it. We are more than grateful for the opportunity.”
A relieved Sibanda was also over the moon and called for Highlanders members to be united.
“We are happy to have found a partner who understands the club’s immediate, mid-term and long-term plans and vision of our great institution that has stood the test of time. Like any other partnerships, this partnership comes with a lot of responsibility on our part.
“Our immediate challenge as a club is to make sure that we guard this partnership jealously by contributing towards its growth,” Sibanda said.
The partnership comes at a time when a player exodus was looming at the club with club captain Ariel Sibanda and his deputy Nqobizitha Masuku having already indicated they were no longer part of the club.
Highlanders players have not received their salaries for the last two months as the club struggles to cope with the financial effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.