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Chaos threat

Affiliates, candidates differ with Sports Council

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VOICING OUT CONCERNS—Khungwa-Kauma

Fears threatening the credibility of Netball Association of Malawi (Nam) elective annual general meeting (AGM) have emerged over logistical challenges ahead of the polls slated for Saturday at Livingstonia Beach in Salima District.

Some affiliates have queried Malawi National Council of Sports [MNCS]’s decision not to give delegates transport in advance, raising fears that they might rely on candidates to travel, which might fuel rigging.

However, Sports Council has justified the move, saying it was an administrative procedure.

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Chitipa District Netball Committee Chairperson Allan Nkhonjera faulted Sports Council, saying the decision could incite vote rigging.

“They [Sports Council] have made it clear that no affiliate should be funded by candidates. We have been advised to use our own mode of transport. In return, Sports Council will refund us on Saturday upon arrival. This can encourage affiliates to seek funds from the candidates. Imagine people coming from as far as Karonga, Chitipa and Nsanje going to Salima,” he said.

Some affiliates who did not want to be mentioned echoed the sentiments.

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“They can support us now so that there is no room for malpractices. We need free and fair elections but it will be hard to achieve that,” said the source.

One of the aspirants, Cecelia Mtukule, was also of the view that the idea of not providing voters with funds might entice riggers and she called on MNCS to rescind its decision.

“Most of these voters are coming from far and, with hard economic times, some might not make it. Worse still, others might connive with some candidates to give them transport in return of votes,” said the former Malawi Queens and Blue Eagles Sisters attacker who is vying for the position of vice treasurer.

Another aspirant Yamikani Khungwa- Kauma said the system would be compromised if affiliates are not funded in advance.

“Not everyone can have money to use for transport at any time. To have free, fair and balanced elections, it would have been wise to give affiliates their money in advance so that there are no loopholes in the system,” said Khungwa- Kauma, who is vying for the vice secretary post.

Similarly, Anastazia Kaphale, who is contesting for the vice presidency, asked Sports Council to level the playing field.

“There is no harm in giving money to affiliates in advance. Otherwise, leaving affiliates on their own is bad and they might end up making silly decisions. Sports Council can give them money on the understanding that those that will not travel will refund it,” she said.

MNCS acting Public Relations Officer Faith Mlauzi felt there was no harm in the arrangement.

“It is an administrative procedure to have affiliates transport refunded at the elections venue for fear of others absconding while they have already been paid,” Mlauzi said.

Nam President Khungekile Matiya withdrew from the race after earlier expressing her interest to seek re-election whereas the association’s general secretary Carol Bapu is ineligible to contest having served two successive terms.

Former Nam treasurer Abigail Shariff and ex- Malawi National Netball Team captain Emmie Waya-Chongwe will battle for the presidency with former Kukoma Diamonds general secretary Chimwemwe Bakali and business woman Anastasia Kaphale vying for the vice presidency.

Ex-Diamonds official Isaac Chimwala will face off with former Queens shooter Linda Magombo- Munthali whereas the battle for vice general secretary will involve Diana Nkhulambe, Yamikani Khungwa-Kauma and Vitumbiko Mwademange Gubuduza.

Agness Chaima and Tadala Billie will battle for the position of treasurer whereas Chancy Munthali and Cecilia Mtukule will contest for the vice treasurer post.

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