Member of Parliament backtracks on Flames campaign
Kasungu North Member of Parliament, Mike Bango, has said he will no longer table a motion in the National Assembly aimed at mobilising funds for the Flames.
His decision comes after there was a duplication of roles with Football Association of Malawi (Fam) taskforce.
Bango, a former sports journalist, said he made the decision after a meeting with Minister of Youth and Sports, Ulemu Msungama.
According to the parliamentarian, the Minister had assured him that government will provide funds for the team ahead of Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) finals, to be staged in Cameroon next year.
“I will not proceed with my plans of moving a motion in Parliament aimed at requesting His Excellency, the State President, Dr. Lazarus Chakwera to appoint a taskforce aimed at mobilising resources for the Malawi National Football Team, the Flames’ participation at the 2021 Afcon finals in Cameroon,” Bango said in a statement.
However, Msungama briefly confirmed advising Bango not to proceed with the motion.
During the 2021 second quarterly meeting held on May 8 in Salima District, Fam resolved to set up an adhoc committee to champion thorough preparations and resource mobilisation for the Flames.
Fam first vice president Jabba Alide is the chairperson of the taskforce whereas Edith Jiya is the vice chairperson.
Fam General Secretary Alfred Gunda said last week that the taskforce comprises high profile individuals.
“We looked at people that have capacity to help us get huge support that we require. We know that the committee has focused people and they will assist us,” Gunda said.
Flames need at least K1 billion for both the World Cup qualifiers and Afcon finals. About K600 million is required for World Cup qualifiers whereas K575 million for the Afcon finals.
But the team also needs more resources for this year’s Cosafa Cup slated for July 7-18 in South Africa where they have been drawn in Group B alongside Zambia, Comoros Islands and Madagascar.
Football consultant Kevin Moyo commended Bango for his latest stance.
“It is a good development that government has assured him that funds will be provided for the team,” Bango said.
Recently, members of Parliament also pledged to lobby for increased funding for the Flames in the 2021/22 National Budget.
Flames do not have a vote in the National Assembly but get funding through grants which Fam gets from Malawi National Council of Sports. Last year, Fam got K300 million from Sports Council.