James Mwenda challenges Austin Ajawa in CRFA race


Former Football Association of Malawi (Fam) first vice president James Mwenda is reportedly bouncing back into football circles after showing interest to challenge Central Region Football Association (CRFA) chairperson Austin Ajawa.

The development comes after the body indicated that it will go to polls in Salima District on November 7.

Sources indicated that some CRFA affiliates asked Mwenda to consider challenging Ajawa, who is viewed as a right hand man of Fam president Walter Nyamilandu.


However Mwenda refused to comment when approached.

Interestingly, some CRFA affiliates including officials from Lilongwe, Kasungu and Nkhotakota district football committees confirmed having met Mwenda regarding the forthcoming polls.

Kasungu District Football Committee chairperson Gift Jere said both Mwenda and Ajawa approached the committee but they are yet to decide which candidate to support.


“Both Mwenda and Ajawa made their intentions clear and we know what they want. We will soon make a decision on whom we should support,” he said.

Similarly, Kasungu District Football Committee chairperson Wellosi Kazonde said Mwenda expressed his intent to vie for the regional chairperson.

“We haven’t made any decision as we are waiting for his manifesto,” he said.

His Nkhotakota counterpart, Amoni Lunda, echoed similar remarks, saying it was only Mwenda who had approached the committee.

“We will discuss what he told us before making a decision,” he said.

Ajawa said he had heard reports that Mwenda was considering challenging him.

“As it is, let me reserve my comment. I will be in a position to make a comment when it is official,” he said.

Former Fam General Secretary George Kaudza Masina said if Mwenda wants to bounce back into football administration, he needs a base to be relevant.

“Choosing CRFA as a constituency is the right direction as it is where he came from. The biggest challenge is that he might be seen as a ‘stranger’. It is a daunting task for Mwenda to compete fairly as Ajawa and his team has the backing of the powers from above at the FA,” he said.

Masina said Mwenda was the only right candidate to challenge Ajawa for that position.

“But knowing who Mwenda is, he is capable of making it at the polls and leading CFRA with his previous connections in the region. With his vast experience at both Fam and other continental bodies, Mwenda might prove to be an asset to CRFA,” said Masina.

Mwenda is not a new member at CRFA, having served as a member for four years and General Secretary for six years between 2008 and 2009. He also championed the formation of district committees.

During last year’s Fam presidential election, Mwenda lost to Nyamilandu 23-13 in Mangochi.

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