Government’s bid to recall Mwawi Kumwenda hits snag
A directive from the government that expelled star netballer Mwawi Kumwenda be recalled into the Malawi national netball team camp has hit a snag.
A source told The Daily Times that Ministry of Labour, Youth, Sports and Manpower Development officials contacted Netball Association of Malawi (Nam), through the Malawi National Council of Sports (MNCS), to recall the shooter, who plays for Australia’s Melbourne Vixens.
However, officials from Nam, MNCS and the government were elusive when contacted yesterday on the matter.
“Indeed, as the Ministry of Sports, we were concerned with what is happening in the Queens’ camp and it was decided that Mwawi should be recalled following a public outcry. We are wondering why she hasn’t been contacted yet,” said the source who refused to be named.
Director of Sports in the Ministry of Sports, Jameson Ndalama, said he was not better placed to shed light on the development.
Ndalama referred The Daily Times to the ministry’s spokesperson, Christina Mkutumula, who did not call back as promised.
MNCS Executive Secretary, George Jana, yesterday refused to comment on the matter.
However, a Nam official said the decision to drop Mwawi from the squad had the backing of the government and officials.
“It is not that we have refused to bow down to pressure. We were ready to recall Mwawi but, then, it is too late. Before the decision was made, we consulted and it was felt that Mwawi would be a bad influence on the team. If she was entertained, we could have set a bad precedent.
“On the coach [Sam Kanyenda], we wanted to bow down to his demands [that Mwawi be recalled] but, again, we realised thatshe was a bad influence on the squad. Discipline is paramount and we need to treat all players and members of the technical panel equally,” said the Nam official who declined to be mentioned.
Nam General Secretary, Carol Bapu, refused to comment on the issue of Mwawi.
Mwawi was expelled from squad after arriving in camp late on Thursday when her colleagues had reported on Sunday last week.
In reaction, Kanyenda withdrew from camp, saying he would only return upon the recall of Mwawi.
Reports suggest Nam has already submitted the Queens’ to the Fast5 organisers.
But as we went to press Thursday, the Queens’ squad and that of Jamaica were not appearing on the competition’s website fast5worldseries.com.
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