The Football Association of Malawi (FAM)’s indifference to the leadership wrangles in the Central Region Football Committee (CRFC) has crippled grassroots football in the region.
CRFC chairperson Austin Ajawa, has despite in May insisting that he would respect the lifting of the suspension of the committee’s members, Fanuel Katengeza, Abridge Chunga (six months), Asedi Manyozo, Bwanali Misi, Francis Gwaza, and George Mussa (one and half year from 2012), openly refused to welcome back the six officials whose suspension Sports Council lifted last month.
“We hereby write to respond to your letter dated June 14 2014. Thanks for your letter we have received, but we are not able to call the meeting because you are not our executive members. But if you want to meet with us, we are ready to meet you as friends,” reads Ajawa’s letter of June 16 2014. He admitted authoring when contacted on Saturday.
Yet the council lifted the officials’ suspension through a letter which Sports Council executive secretary George Jana wrote to Ajawa.
The six sought the council’s help after FAM ignored their concern that, despite serving their suspensions ending August 2013, they were not reinstated.
In reaction, the six have, using constitutional power of a quoram, taken over the running of the committee, and held meetings, which the ‘reinstated’ vice-chairperson Mussa chaired on July 2 and July 7 2014 in Lilongwe and chose Gwaza as acting general secretary replacing James Mwenda who is now FAM executive member.
“If the chairperson does not convene the meeting in time, one of the members who requested the meeting may do so. Since we are eight because of the death of Ganizani Masiye and James Mwenda was elected into FAM executive member, the number of six requesting for a meeting is enough,” reads the officials’ letter of June 29 2014 calling for a meeting.
The six have further complained to council and FAM as to why Ajawa is running football when he is allegedly the United Democratic Front (UDF) executive committee member. Only council has acted on the members’ concerns while FAM has kept mum.
Ajawa, who when contacted on Saturday afternoon questioned the reporter’s interest in the issue, could not admit that he is into politics. But he was uncomfortable that a football matter is being dragged into politics.
“We are all in Lilongwe and they should have seen my acceptance to meet them as friends as an opportunity to resolve our misunderstandings. I am against us fighting in the press. If it is about football, let them talk to FAM who suspended them,” Ajawa explained while faulting the six for not channelling their concerns through another CRFC secretary Ibrahim Kalonga.
FAM punished the six for attempting to obtain an injunction stopping FAM polls of 2011, accusing the association of hand-picking CRFC delegates. FAM president Walter Nyamilandu yesterday said was not aware of the officials’ complaints.
“We cannot act based on hearsay or what someone has reported,” Nyamilandu explained.
He added that Ajawa’s political involvement cannot be handled by FAM executive alone.