By Mabvuto Kambuwe:
Protests against the reign of Football Association of Malawi (Fam) President, Walter Nyamilandu, took a new dimension when a section of fans displayed placards during the Airtel Top 8 final between Silver Strikers and Karonga United at Bingu National Stadium (BNS) in Lilongwe on Saturday.
This comes amid reports that Nyamilandu is contemplating seeking re-election at the expiry of his fourth term in December this year.
Last year, Nyamilandu indicated that he would not stand again but recently said he would make his statement on the matter soon.
Upon his entry into the stadium, Nyamilandu was greeted with a chorus of boos by a section of fans who held some placards.
The fans, dressed in white T-shirts with the message ‘Walter Must Fall’, carried placards with messages against the Fam boss.
Another message read; “Utsogoleri Sukhala Wamuyaya. A Walter Pumani Masaimenso” [leadership does not last forever. Walter do not stand again].
Nyamilandu, who is also a Fifa Council member, said he was not moved by the protests, insisting that he would not make a decision under duress.
“I am not moved at all. There is too much hatred around and I will not fall for it. The world needs love to heal and not for personal egos to flourish. We should all learn to be civilised in the manner we conduct business. It is very unfortunate that people can stoop so low as to be used to tarnish the image of other people,” he said.
Reports suggest that Nyamilandu met with regional associations’ chairpersons before and after the final.
Southern Region Football Association Chairperson, Raphael Humba, asked for more time to comment on the matter while his Northern Region counterpart, Lameck Khonje, did not answer his mobile phone after several attempts.
Central Region Football Association Chairperson, Austin Ajawa, confirmed meeting Nyamilandu but declined to disclose details of the meeting.
“We meet on several occasions and there is nothing strange with having a meeting with him,” Ajawa said.
With Nyamilandu still on the hot seat, most aspirants are yet to come in the open on their intentions.
So far, only Karonga United Chairperson Alufeyo Chipanga has declared interest in contest for the Fam presidency but reports indicate that incumbent Fam First Vice President James Mwenda is also vying for the same seat.
Other personalities, such as Pikawo Ngalamila and Fellister Dossi are interested in contested as Executive Committee members.
Incumbent executive committee members Daud Ntanthiko and Jabbar Alide have expressed interest in contesting for the First Vice Presidency whereas Lameck Khonje is challenging incumbent Second Vice President Othaniel Hara.
Nyamilandu has served as Fam President for the past 16 years.