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Netball Association of Malawi sleeps on the job

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Carol Bapu

Malawi National Netball Team, the Queens, risked expulsion from Commonwealth Games after Netball Association of Malawi (Nam) delayed paying affiliation fee to World Netball (WN) formerly International Netball Federation.

However, Nam claims all is well having paid the affiliation fee amounting to £650 (about K780,000) on Thursday. The deadline for affiliation payment was January 1 2022.

Sources said Nam alongside other WN affiliates were reminded to pay registration fee late last year.

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“However, Nam did not pay. The issue only came to light when other concerned members tipped Mary Waya [World Netball ambassador] that Malawi risk missing the Commonwealth Games because of failure to pay affiliation fee,” said the source.

The source said the issue was reported to Malawi National Council of Sports (MNCS) and the Ministry of Sports prompting Nam to act.

Nam General Secretary Isaac Chimwala downplayed the issue, saying payment had been made on Thursday, having missed the deadline which was set.

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“There is no need to panic. The Queens will be at the Commonwealth Games this year because World Netball has acknowledged our payment,” he said.

Chimwala blamed the delay in issuing payment to communication breakdown as WN communicated to the association’s general secretary Carol Bapu.

However, Bapu cleared her name saying it was unfortunate for Nam to make such a ‘callous’ remark when she alerted the association in advance.

“To begin with we made all the handovers and we sent emails to all stakeholders announcing that there was a change in leadership.

“Actually, the email in question is an invoice which World Netball sent on 1st November 2021 after I had knocked off at work. The following day [2nd November 2021, I asked Isaac [Chimwala] if he had received it, he said he was not aware. I immediately forwarded it to him and he acknowledged the same day in the afternoon. So from that month up to now they did not pay the affiliation fee. Why should I be blamed for the delay? It is not good to deliberately tarnish peoples reputation,” Bapu said while showing screenshots to back her statements.

According to an email from WN official Angella Sanderson communication to affiliates was made as explained by Bapu.

“Please find attached the invoice for your associations 2022 World Netball Membership. The payment is due on 1st January 2022 and can be made at any time until then using the details provided. Thank you for your continued membership of World Netball,” read an email which arrived Monday November 1 2022 at 5:25pm.

MNCS Spokesperson Edgar Ntulumbwa said they were aware of the issue but declined to comment further.

This year’s Commonwealth Games will be held in Birmingham, England from July 28 to August 8.

Queens are in Group B alongside New Zealand, Trinidad and Tobago, Northern Ireland and Uganda.

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