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Gaffar lashes out at Nomads ‘ditractors’: Polls in 3 weeks’ time

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After months of turbulent in-fighting at Be Forward Wanderers, peace seems to be in sight after the club bowed down to pressure and announced that it would hold elections for the supporters’ and executive committees in three weeks’ time, with the board of trustees clearly throwing its weight behind the current executive committee led by George Chamangwana.

Factions developed at the Lali Lubani-based club with some calling for elections and others advocating for the resignation of the current executive committee, citing poor performance of the club in the 2015 season.

The Nomads’ trustees hence called for a meeting at Wanderers Club House in Blantyre last Friday where it was resolved that the club should hold elections for the supporters’ committee on January 30 and the main executive committee on February 6.

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Chairperson for Wanderers’ Board of Trustees Rashid Gaffar said they had decided to call for the polls because, according to the club’s constitution, the two committees’ tenure of office had expired after two years of service.

Gaffar, however, bemoaned the recent in-fighting within the club, stating that there was a faction that wanted to get positions in the main executive committee with ill intentions.

Gaffar said the current executive committee had done enough to merit re-election during the polls and he admonished factions that vehemently wanted the committee out of office.

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“I want Wanderers supporters to be genuine and truthful and look at the achievements of this executive committee. In the days the club was sponsored by MTL, there was this same committee. There was a lot of noise from people who wanted to run the club. They made a lot of noise and they even insulted the trustees.

Because of that, MTL pulled out their sponsorship. The committee headed by George Chamangwana carried on for four years and used their own money to run the club,” he said.

“After securing Be Forward sponsorship, the same people that disturbed Wanderers five years ago have now started making noise again. Where were they in the past five years when Wanderers had no sponsorship? They never wanted to show their faces because people had to use their own money to run the club. Wanderers have now got sponsorship, they are back. Is that fair? Genuine Wanderers people that want to run the club are the ones that ran the team for five years when it had no sponsorship. Wanderers supporters should look into that. They should choose people that love the club.”

Gaffar added that the club would ensure that the elections would be free and fair and all candidates are given equal opportunity to campaign.

Wanderers’ general secretary Mike Butao said the outgoing committee had done enough to elevate the club’s status and had more long-term plans in the pipeline.

“Last season we managed to secure the biggest sponsorship in the country, bought good players and won the Carlsberg Cup after beating our rivals.

We also reached the final of the Standard Bank Cup and finished in the paying ranks in the Super League. We had a good season but some people wanted to distract the club so that they should get us out of office before elections to find an easy way into the committee,” he said.

While candidates for positions in the executive committee were yet to come out, former supporters’ chairperson Yona Malunga has expressed his interest to compete against the incumbent Dennius Chitsulo.

In the heat of the turmoil at Wanderers, former vicechairperson Alex Machira was forced out of office by some supporters.

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