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Flames SMS initiative flops

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Football Association of Malawi (Fam) is licking its wounds after the Kuipatsa Moto Flames SMS fundraising initiative raised only K1.4 million out of the targeted K60 million.

The development means the initiative has incurred a 98 percent loss after its launch on October 2 last year.

Fam hatched the initiative in a bid to raise funds for the Malawi National Football Team’s participation at the Africa Cup of Nations finals in Cameroon.

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To enter, a participant was asked to send an SMS to *1389# with a Toyota Sienta motor vehicle being the ultimate prize.

Other prizes were Flames replica jerseys and refrigerators.

The fundraising committee’s spokesperson Tulipo Mwenelupembe attributed the loss to the Flames’ drop in form between October and November during the World Cup qualifiers.

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“The losses heavily affected our campaign. The excitement that people had after the team qualified for the Afcon finals in March had gone down. However, we are hoping to recoup the money through other initiatives that we embarked on,” Mwenelupembe said.

Fam had also organised a fundraising tournament at Lilongwe Golf Club, where Vice President Saulos Chilima was the guest of honour.

This was followed by a fundraising dinner at Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe, which President Lazarus Chakwera hosted.

The initiative’s Chairperson Jabbar Alide said they expect to have more when entities fulfil pledges made during the two events.

“On paper, we have about K156 million including pledges which other sectors are yet to honour. We may not have achieved our goals in the SMS promotion but we are thankful to all Malawians and the private sector for the support throughout the campaign. We do not take their support for granted,” Alide said.

He was speaking after handing over the Toyota Sienta to Blantyre-based Egenco employee Ronald Gomani at Mpira Stadium in Blantyre Thursday.

Gomani, who was accompanied by his wife, said he would be using the vehicle as a family car.

“I am excited to have finally been given the car keys for my prize. This is my first time to win in a competition and I am happy to have won while supporting a cause for the Flames. I join all Malawians in wishing the team all the best as it faces Guinea on Monday,” Gomani said.

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