Athletics body defies council

Athletics body defies council

Athletics Association of Malawi (AAM) says it will not abide by Malawi National council of Sports’ decision to dissolve its executive committee and usher in a caretaker committee.

The athletics body was reacting to a Sports Council statement yesterday on the decision by its board to dissolve the AAM interim committee, citing its failure to finalise amendments to the constitution and hold elections.

Reads part of the statement from Sports Council signed by its board chairperson Sunduzwayo Madise: “The mandate of the executive committee expired last year, but council gave them [AAM] a three months extension period to finalise processes for the amendment of the constitution and the holding of elections.

Madise: It is detrimental to the sport

“This development has led the association to have several rival camps, thereby rendering it dysfunctional which is detrimental to the sport, the athlete, sports in general and to the nation.”

In the face of the dissolution, Sports Council has appointed a five-member caretaker committee to be led by Supreme Court of Appeal Judge Sylvester Kalembera.

The other members are Oscar Kanjala, Thokozile Kuwali, Chifundo Tenthani and King Rudi.

Reads the statement further: “The caretaker committee will oversee the finalisation of the processes that have remained uncompleted, including holding elections for the new executive committee.”

But reacting to the development, AAM general secretary Frank Chitembeya said they will not comply with the decision.

He said: “We are buying none of that and we are ready to tussle with them even if it means going to court because if anything, it is them [council] who have delayed the process.

“We gave them our roadmap, including a proposed date for the elections which is December 17 and they never responded because they had their own interests.”

Chitembeya also claimed that at the time of the interview, they had not received official communication from Sports Council.

He said: “That they were able to issue a press release without informing us first speaks volumes about their ill intentions.

“Besides, they have no powers to dissolve the AAM executive and if we take it up with the world athletics body, Malawi risks a ban from international championships.

“All along they have been trying to find faults with us and now we will see who is who.”

In reaction, Sports Council spokesperson Edgar Ntulumbwa said: “We will not dignify such outbursts with a comment. The board has made its position and that is it.”

The association was initially expected to hold elections in November 2021, but were postponed after the Sports Council demanded that they should only conduct the polls after amending their constitution as proposed by its affiliates.

Prior to the postponement, some AAM affiliates complained to the Sports Council that the elections could not be fairly conducted since some articles in their constitution made it easy for incumbent committees to manipulate voters.

One of the contentious articles allowed members of sub-committees, who were appointed by the elected executive committee members, to vote during an elective general assembly. This was seen as something that compromised the sub-committees’ loyalty because they were easily swayed to vote for individuals that appointed them.

Before the recent amendment to the constitution, the athletics governing body was dodgy on the issue for over eight years.

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