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EZULWINI – Tempers flared at the PLE Board of Governors (BoGs) Workshop last evening which saw Mbabane Highlanders boss Chief Ally Kgomongwe walking out.

It now remains to be seen if that was the walking out for him as he also emotionally said he was stepping down as Highlanders Managing Director (MD) following the Premier League of Eswatini (PLE) Executive Committee (Exco) allegedly informing him he was a foreigner and by virtue of that, he cannot be the organisation’s chairman. This is said to be a clause in a draft constitution for the PLE that was also part of the agenda yesterday. The workshop, which ends today, started around 10am instead of the initial 8am.

Worth noting is that the draft constitution allows foreigners to be members of the PLE Exco. “Ally, understandably didn’t take kind to that as it’s discriminatory in its nature before the fact that as clubs we seek help from foreign directors who should qualify to lead the PLE into new heights if they so wish to be part of the elections. “How will we have foreign investors in our teams if they cannot be voted into the top position even when other BoGs would want them because this is all about being visionary and an influencer in society and in the corporate world,” wondered one team owner who added as is, Manzini Wanderers, were struggling because they lost a director from South Africa (SA).

It has to be mentioned that the media was barred from the workshop, which had been expected to heat up between the BoGs and their Exco Committee led by Chairman Mark Carmichael.
“I felt I should recuse myself since I was the only foreigner inside the room. This is quite sensitive, so for progress and free discussion of the matter I decided to walk out to allow them to talk. The house got divided when the part of the chairman’s position was discussed as some felt it didn’t matter the nationality, while others agreed with the Executive Committee (Exco),” Kgomongwe explained when later sought for comment.


About his utterance to hand Highlanders back to its patrons and head back to SA to focus on his family and businesses, he said he was investing big in the club so he must be allowed to stand for the chairmanship elections if he wished to. He said the finality of the new constitution would determine if he needed to consider leaving or not but it must be open for all to be the PLE chairman, whether foreign or not so long as you invest in a team. Kgomongwe is interested in the PLE leadership as Highlanders MD and Simunye Group Chairman alongside Mbabane Swallows, Manzini Wanderers, Moneni Pirates, Tambankulu Callies and Seven Dreams. He and these teams had been vocal about the ‘Big 3’ getting the recognition they deserve in local football.

Swallows General Manager (GM) Sandile ‘Beyond 2 000’ Zwane was last Friday quoted as saying the PLE Exco was facing football as the standard was going down. Zwane had also said it was a mistake that as big teams they were not in the organisation’s leadership. Meanwhile, PLE Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Kenneth Makhanya also confirmed the tension and division among the PLE Exco and BoGs over the chairmanship position. However, he said nothing was final as this was only a draft and they were hopeful all will be finalised today.

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