Football Association of Malawi (Fam) Electoral Committee chairperson, Justice Dingiswayo Madise, has said it is up to the association’s affiliates to amend statutes if they want to remove Fam general secretary (GS) from the committee.
Madise said this last Saturday on the sidelines of Fam presidential debate in Lilongwe involving candidates Wilkins Mijiga, Walter Nyamilandu and Willy Yabwanya Phiri.
“However, if the affiliates of Fam feel the Electoral Committee does not need the support of the general secretary, they can amend Article 5(3) at the General Meeting which will be operational at the 2019 Elective General Assembly as an amendment cannot operate retrospectively,” he explained.
Madise observed that there were concerns about the involvement of Fam GS Suzgo Nyirenda in the build-up to Saturday’s elections, even though the Electoral Code, adopted in February 2015, mandates him to serve as secretary to the Electoral Committee.
“According to the statutes, Article 5(3) of the Electoral Code, the general secretary of Fam serves as secretary to the Electoral Committee and he takes part in the activities of the electoral committee in a consultative capacity and is responsible for the related logistical matters and takes care of administrative matters,” Madise explained.
He further dismissed fears of interference by the general secretary.
“Now many of you have expressed concern about the involvement of the general secretary on the premises that he is likely to interfere with the business of the Electoral Committee. Our interaction with the general secretary in this regard has removed among us any fears, and I wish to say it here that our general secretary has been very instrumental in providing logistical and administrative support to the Electoral Committee,” he said.
Madise also gave an assurance that Saturday’s elections at Sunbird Nkopola would be free and fair.
“Let me assure all Malawians that the process we have started will end well. The elections will be free, fair and transparent. Come December 12, 2015, and days thereafter we shall all bear witness that the Electoral Committee managed to put into government a committee that was elected in a free and fair manner,” he said.
Yabwanya and Mijiga have been vocal about the involvement of the Fam general secretary, fearing interference in the electoral process.
However, Nyirenda earlier said his involvement was constitutional and that he would have no influence on the voting process.
“We are just observers and we are not directly involved in matters regarding the polls. I may not even be at the polls,” Nyirenda said.
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