By Lwazi Dlamini
Resigned Mbabane Swallows President Bishop Bheki Lukhele spent slightly over E15 million during his three-and-half-year reign at the Capital City giants.
Lukhele, who was unveiled as Swallows President on August 22, 2019, taking over from Princess Lungile, the wife of the late Chairman, Victor ‘Maradona’ Gamedze, who had taken from January 2018 after the sudden demise of his husband, quit the club a fortnight ago. He cited personal reasons in the resignation letter which this publication also has in its possession.
Eswatini Financial Times has reliably gathered that Lukhele spent about E400 000 monthly on the club’s expenses which included salaries, transport, clubhouse and camp fees.
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The Capital City giants’ monthly salary bill stands at E280 000.
“Sometimes the monthly budget would be E450 000 depending on the daily expenses on top of all the other expenses. So, if you look at the number of years, he spent at the club it is above E15 million. It could be E19 million even,” the highly impeccable source at Swallows told the Eswatini Financial Times this week.
Swallows Governor, Sebenele Nhlengetfwa, who has also stepped down following the resignation of Lukhele, could neither confirm nor deny the expenditure of the President in the club.
“I can’t give you the exact figures but definitely it is a huge amount of money looking at the monthly and daily expenses of running the team,” Nhlengetfwa said.
Asked what will happen to the assets of the club now that Lukhele has stepped down, Nhlengetfwa said it will all depend on the negotiations between Lukhele and the Swallows Management.
“The President is currently out of the country and at this point, there is nothing that has been finalised regarding the assets of the club. The President will decide on that one,” Nhlengetfwa said.
The Eswatini Financial Times has reliably gathered that the club assets, including the team bus and clubhouse, are all registered under the President.
Meanwhile, Swallows General Manager Sandile ‘Beyond 2000’ Zwane told listeners on the national radio, the Eswatini Broadcasting and Information Services (EBIS) on Monday that Bishop Bheki Lukhele was still the club’s President.
“As Mbabane Swallows, our current leader is Bheki ‘Sihlahla’ Lukhele, who was given the reins to lead three or four seasons ago. He is still our president; we are seeing what is written in newspapers and it confuses us; what we know is that he is still our president,” Zwane said.