Representatives of World Athletics expected in the country on September 27 for discussions with Malawi National Council of Sports and Athletics Malawi (AM) on the impasse between the two local bodies over elections.
AM general secretary Frank Chitembeya said the World Athletics’ team’s mission follows Sports Council conduct that is allegedly tantamount to interference in the administration of AM.
He said: “World Athletics constitution does not allow political interference in national federations like Council has been doing. They are blocking everything to conduct an elective general assembly.
“This has affected athletics in the country. The delegation is coming to resolve this. There is also a huge risk of a ban if Council will continue to intervene. We just hope government is aware of this. They should let us take part in the elections and the affiliates will decide who they want instead of Sports Council to dictate things,” he said.
In a separate interview yesterday, Ministry of Youth and Sports spokesperson Macmillan Mwale said his ministry is aware of the impasse and the visit.
He said: “World Athletics is the one that asked the Ministry to intervene on disagreements within Malawi Athletics, which frustrated the facilitation of elections by council.”
Mwale said the ministry observed that the disagreement involves factions in the local athletics body itself, making it difficult for the body to come up with credible elections facilitated by council.
He said: “They informed us that they will revisit the issue in September 2023. Now World Athletics has delegated the issue to the Confederation of African Athletics [CAA-SR] to come to Malawi to intervene on the leadership disagreements within Malawi Athletics.
“If the camps in Malawi Athletics are resolved, it will become easier to hold credible elections. As long as the objective of their mission is to bring peace amongst Malawi Athletics for athletics to improve in this country, they are welcome.”
Last year, Sports Council banned the association’s president Godfrey Phiri and secretary general Frank Chitembeya from taking part in any athletics activities.
However, they rescinded the decision and lifted the ban on the two after Minister of Youth and Sports Uchizi Mkandawire intervened.