A candidate who lost an election for the post of chairperson for Northern Region Netball Committee has threatened Netball Association of Malawi (Nam) with a lawsuit for allowing the toss of a coin to decide the poll after a tie.
The candidate, Tamara Fweta, lost the toss to Lameck Nkhonjera after an eight-vote tie on September 18 in Mzuzu.
Malawi National Council of Sports and Nam officials, led by president Abigail Sheriff, presided over the polls.
Fweta has taken Nam to task for what she claims is the association’s flouting of provisions of its own constitution by electing Nkhonjera through the tossing of a coin.
Fweta’s legal firm, MN Patrick Associates, has written Nam and copied the letter to Malawi National Council of Sports, insisting that the polls were illegally decided.
The letter, dated September 19, calls for nullification of the results and quotes Chapter 20.4 of Nam’s constitution which reads: “Voting shall be by secret ballot or by show of hands if need be.”
The letter demands that results of the election be nullified and a fresh poll be conducted.
“It is against this narrative that we ask you to reconsider your decision for the sake of progress and to avoid wasting both our time by just conducting fresh elections according to the laws in respecting your own constitution as well as the rights of the candidates.
“We are under strict conditions from our client to commence proceedings in the High Court should you default claims in this letter within seven days and be mindful that you may incur more costs defending this matter in court of which our costs at the moment are placed at K2 million and you also have to pay within seven days from the date hereof,” part of the letter reads.
It concludes by stating that Fweta is open to discuss the matter so that it is resolved amicably.
Sheriff said they are meeting to map the way forward on the matter.
“Let me come back to you as soon as we come up with our position. We are meeting on the same and once we are done, we will inform you on our next course of action. That is all I can say,” she said.
However, Nkhonjera said he was surprised that Fweta had decided to take the matter further after it was resolved on the polling day.
“She is talking to a wrong entity. Nam were only there as observers. She should have sued Malawi Electoral Commission whose officials conducted the election. Again, why would she sue now when she was also part of the process and decision to use the coin?
“In fact, she was the first to choose the side of the coin. She went for heads and I was left with no choice but to go for tails. What would have happened if she had won the toss? Would she have been calling for a fresh poll as she is doing now?” Wondered Nkhonjera.
The letter is addressed to Nam general secretary and is titled ‘Notice of civil suit: Miss Tamara Fweta vs yourself’.
It describes the conduct of the election as unfair and unconstitutional.
Peter Fote is a Sports Journalist with huge experience in radio and Television reporting, production and presentation. He once worked with Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) and is currently working for Times Media Group.