Shooter Mwawi Kumwenda has excused herself from the Malawi National Netball Team that will take part in the 2023 World Cup qualifying tournament in South Africa.
Mwawi, through her cousin and adviser Hlupikire Phiri-Chalamba said she wanted to concentrate on preparations for her wedding having been away with her club Melbourne Vixens in Australia.
The development end speculation that was rife alleging that the shooter had differences with some members of the Queens following the team’s dismal performance at the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games.
Phiri-Chalamba said Mwawi had communicated to Netball Association of Malawi (Nam) that she was tied up with preparations for her wedding.
“She is in the midst of final preparation for her bridal shower and wedding which will take place from early September.
“You will understand that since she has been away for the whole year and she recently arrived in Malawi, she needs to be on the ground to attend to numerous tasks in preparation for the shower and wedding. She wishes the Queens all the best and she is confident that the team will win the qualifiers,” Phiri Chalamba said.
Apparently, the Africa Netball Championship, which is also World Cup qualifier, will end on August 27.
Mwawi’s bridal shower is slated for Mame Hotel in Mzimba on September 11 before she ties the knot with Wanangwa Mbwana at St Columba CCAP in Blantyre on September 24. The reception will be at Mount Soche Hotel.
Nam General Secretary Isaac Chimwala, despite several reminders, did not return our call as promised.
In Mwawi’s absence, Joyce Mvula, who left Manchester Thunder for ANZ Premiership side Central Pulse, is expected to lead Queens’ attack with either Jane Chimaliro or Sindi Simtowe-Msowoya.
Budding shooter Tendai Masamba, having been deregistered for the Commonwealth Games, is also expected to get game time.
Queens vice-captain Grace Mwafulirwa-Mhango has returned into the team replacing dropped Shira Dimba.
The Queens are in the same group with Uganda, Kenya, Eswatini and Zambia whereas the other pool comprises South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Tanzania.
Malawi will first meet Kenya on Sunday before taking on Zambia on Monday.
Shooters: Tendai Masamba, Joyce Mvula, Jane Chimaliro and Sindi Simtowe.
Centre court: Thandie Galeta, Takondwa Lwazi and Bridget Kumwenda.
Defenders: Lauren Ngwira, Martha Dambo, Towera Vinkhumbo, Caroline Mtukule and Grace Mwafulirwa.