Walter Nyamilandu, on Tuesday said the obvious that he will contest the FAM presidency. He thinks that not being president, would water down the relevance of being a Fifa council member by virtue of not having a constituency to represent.
The result, he argues, is that Malawi will lose the bargaining power that would have been instrumental in influencing and shaping the development of football at all levels.
On the face of it, you would think that Nyamilandu is making a valid point in the interest of Malawi as a football-crazy nation. But no, if you read between the lines, it is clear that he is talking about advancing a philosophy with a discourse that has personal interests. If Nyamilandu loses the FAM seat, he loses the influence that he has right now at Fifa.
On the streets, there are divergent views from football fans following Nyamilandu’s announcement. There are those who see him as the best administrator to have occupied the pinnacle of Malawi football at the governing body. They point at all the football development that includes sponsorship at the national league, Chiwembe Stadium and its associated facilities. They also point at the Flames development and recent success stories the team has registered and many others. They have a right to celebrate him.
But there also those that want that baton stick passed on to another equally capable new broom to bring fresh ideas at FAM. They point at Nyamilandu’s successes and say thanks for the football development, but after 15 years, it’s perhaps time for him to go.
We on the streets are part of this group that feels that, so far, Walter has run the race and it is time that he passes on the baton to another capable Malawian administrator to carry on with the show.
We believe familiarity breeds contempt. No one person can be too good to continue running a show like this one. Much as he has made strides in contributing to football development in the country, we on the streets still feel, change will bring diversity and real competition in the manner football administration is managed in this country.
Memories are still fresh of false promises that are now water in the drain that the level of our football will equal that of Barcelona. There are also several other issues that need cleaning at FAM and only a new broom is ideal to ensure that they sweep dirt at the soccer governing body.
However, from information on the streets, it looks like there is a full time public relations entity that is advancing this agenda to ensure come rain or sunshine Walter remains at the helm of FAM. They have produced material meant to convince the public that Walter is the best thing we ever had in Malawi when it comes to football administration in the country. I think this level of thinking is outright wrong and not in tandem with 21st century democracy. It breeds impunity, it breeds corruption and it undermines the tenets of diversity. In a nutshell, there is some evil hidden in all this to advance another agenda for individual benefit and not national building.
Surprisingly, those agitating for Walter to continue running affairs at Chiwembe are leaving no stone unturned too. In fact, there are some segments of the population who are championing this course for Walter to retain the presidency at FAM at all costs. They praise his financial acumen that he has the capability to influence the vote towards his is side. They argue financial power matters in any election. This is nonsense and that is why we are having these problems in this country on the political front.
I think time has come for Walter who has played his part to step aside for another capable Malawian to run the affairs of FAM. This spirit of not wanting to leave is greed and breeds more of the same. We saw it during the Bakili Muluzi’s era. Unfortunately Malawians said no to this.
The announcement by Walter to contest the FAM presidency confirms the deep-rooted culture that continues to threaten Malawi democracy.
We must accept that there is a level we can go to when it comes to contributing to national development. Football is one sector, just like politics but we must accept that of the 17 millions Malawians there are capable people who can deliver. In fact, even better than the “know-it-all” guys who want to rule till eternity.