Caught between a rock and a hard place. Be Forward Wanderers are in a tight spot as their elections scheduled for next month clash with their CAF Champions League preliminary round campaign.
The Nomads’ board of trustees has set February 4 and 25 for main supporters and executive committees’ elections.
Wanderers will travel to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) for their first leg tie against Association Sportive (AS) Vita during the weekend of February 9 to 11 before hosting the return leg on February 21.
The club’s former chairperson Humphrey Mvula and some analysts have since cautioned the Lali Lubani Road outfit on the timing of the polls, saying it has the potential to distract the team’s focus on the continental showpiece.
Said Mvula: “The elections could turn out to be disruptive. Elections for supporters can go ahead because they cannot have a direct impact on the team.
“But then the elections of the executive require a lot of time to prepare because it involves presentation of reports and crucial is the accounts report—how you have utilised the money.
“Secondly, Wanderers have joined CAF Champions League and it will be illogical for them to conduct polls because they will be under pressure. It cannot be done simultaneously as those in office will want to campaign so as to seek re-election. So, as a result, it will create unnecessary disruption.”
He suggested that postponing the elections to March could be an ideal option.
“I would, therefore, request trustees to take a second look at one battle and that is to do well in the CAF tournament.
“Another thing is that club elections are very delicate in that you need to make proper handovers, it involves intricate transactions that require proper explanation and all this could have an effect,” he said.
Soccer analyst Charles Nyirenda said the Nomads’ tight schedule has the potential to affect their CAF campaign: “The period between February 10 and 20 will be a busy one for them and if anything, they should push the elections to March.
“Afterall, it is not an emergency. Others push for elections just to advance their personal interests, but they [Wanderers] should consider the interests of the team first.”
On his part, another football analyst George Kaudza Masina said: “Much as it is appreciated that the current committee’s term of office has expired, the trustees could have used their wisdom because instead of concentrating on the CAF campaign, the attention will now be on the campaign which might be disastrous.
“One thing at a time and they should focus on the CAF competition.”
But the Nomads’ trustees chairperson Rashid ‘Rashy’ Gaffar said while those that are appealing for caution might have a point, their hands are tied.
“Their observation is right, but then the constitution requires us to hold elections after every two years and there is pressure from a section of the supporters, so what do we do?
“Another thing is that even if we delay the elections, it could also affect preparations for next season because the incoming committee will need time to settle down and plan ahead,” he said.
Club general secretary Mike Butao said they will be guided by the trustees. n