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Drama in athletics

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Delegates came from far and wide to play their respective roles in the election of office bearers to run athletics in the country, but were disappointed to return home without the polls taking place.

Stakeholders in the athletics fraternity descended on Palm Lodge in Salima District on Saturday with the Malawi National Council of Sports Administration Manager, Henry Mereka and Sports Development Manager, Ruth Mzengo, ready to conduct the elections.

But the two officials later announced that the polls would not take place after noting that some procedures were not followed in convening the delegates to the elections.

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The Sports Council Executive Secretary, George Jana, said the electoral process was not properly followed as AAM could not prove the eligibility of the electorates.

“You may also wish to know that the nominations for contesting candidates were being sent to AAM and not to Sports Council as presiding officers. So we found it difficult to ascertain whether the contestants and voting members were genuine or not,” Jana explained.

He also noted that non-members of AAM were allowed to be part of the deliberations, which meant that there was disorder.

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Jana said the elections will only take place after AAM fulfils the requirements, including handing over the list of voters and nominations to the Sports Council for scrutiny.

AAM General Secretary, Frank Chitembeya, said the electorates were picked at random across committees under AAM in line with the association’s constitution.

“And this constitution was adopted in the presence of the Sports Council’s officials. So they know who exactly is eligible to vote,” Chitembeya insisted.

He said it was difficult to stop non-paid up bodies from participating in the deliberations because they represented their athletes.

“Most of what was used at this meeting came from individual members. We may end up kneeling at Sports Council’s doorstep for money to conduct these elections,” he said, adding that K1.4 million was spent on the aborted polls.

Meanwhile, Chitembeya said the current executive committee was mandated to continue running the association for another three months, after which elections should be held.

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