By Mabvuto Kambuwe:
Football Association of Malawi (Fam) Vice President James Mwenda Sunday announced that he would contest for the position of president during elections set for December 2019.
Mwenda’s declaration has put to rest rumours which had been rife in football circles that he would vie for the post being held by Walter Nyamilandu.
Mwenda and Karonga United Chairperson, Alufeyo Chipanga, are the only football administrators who have declared interest in contesting for the top post in the country’s football.
Nyamilandu is yet to clearly state his position on standing again but recently indicated that he would announce his decision soon.
Announcing his candidature at a press briefing in Lilongwe Sunday, Mwenda said he arrived at the decision after wide consultations.
“My decision to contest for the presidency has come after extensive consultations with my family, friends and stakeholders in the game. I appreciate the positive feedback I have been getting. This has helped me to come up with this decision after several months of consultations.
“Several stakeholders approached me to contest for the presidency and I am for it. These elections will be closely followed by a lot of people because of several factors well known to all football loving Malawians. As a football-loving Malawian who is also very active in football administration, I have an interest in the elections,” Mwenda said.
Mwenda was elected Fam First Vice President in 2014 after serving as an executive member from 2011.
Nyamilandu said he was not surprised that Mwenda was interested in taking over the Fam presidency.
“The door is open for any candidate to contest and Mwenda’s announcement is not a surprise to me. At the appropriate time, I will come out in the open about my position. I will neither make an emotional decision nor a knee-jerk reaction to Mwenda’s stance,” he said.
Central Region Football Association officials Simon Lijenje and Owen Munthali attended the briefing.
Lijenje commended Mwenda for openly declaring his intentions.
Fam executive members Daudi Mtanthiko and Jabbar Alide are eyeing the first vice presidency whereas Lameck Khonje and Othaniel Hara have declared interest in contesting for second vice presidency.
Rashid Ntelera, Felister Dossi, Gift Mkandawire, Pikawo Ngalamila and Masiya Nyasulu are eyeing executive member positions.