By Lwazi Dlamini
Mbabane Highlanders South Africa-born Managing Director Chief Ally Kgomongwe is eligible to contest the top post in the premier league.
This comes after he stormed out of a meeting over the controversial Article 36.1 in the draft constitution barring foreigners from standing for the Premier League of Eswatini (PLE) Chairmanship.
On Saturday, Kgomongwe walked out of the PLE Board of Governors (BoG) meeting after the Executive Committee informed him that he was a foreigner and could not be elected Chairman on those grounds.
The clause read: “The Candidates for elections of the Chairperson of the League, shall conform to the following requirements for them to be elected. Be a Liswati citizen or a permanent resident of Eswatini who resides within the territory of the PLE. He must have also served at least two (2) years as a Governor and two years as an Executive Committee.”
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Kgomongwe is interested in the PLE Leadership position as Highlanders Managing Director and Simunye Group leader which is made of Highlanders, Manzini Wanderers, Mbabane Swallows, Seven Dreams, Tambankulu Callies and Moneni Pirates.
“I had to leave the meeting because I felt I was the only foreigner in the room and when there is such a clause in the constitution, it is nothing but xenophobic, discriminatory and senseless. I left so that they can discuss for themselves freely. Eswatini football has a long way to go if people still approach issues this way,” Kgomongwe told the Eswatini Financial Times on Saturday.
However, on Sunday, the Board of Governors successfully altered the clause to indicate that anyone who has a work permit or has served in a club in the position of director, governor, president and/or chairperson for a period of two of the last five years can stand for the chairmanship, which qualifies Kgomongwe who has been at the helm at Highlanders since June 2019.
The constitution, which the new alterations, was adopted by the membership later this afternoon. The PLE will go to the polls next year.