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Ntam holds AGM as dust refuses to settle

AT THE HELM—Chiphinga speaks during the AGM

National Theatre Association of Malawi (Ntam) on Friday held its annual general meeting (AGM) at Chibavi Community Day Secondary School (CDSS) where a newly elected National Executive Committee (Nec) headed by Maxwell Chiphinga was commissioned.

The AGM came three weeks after the theatre body held elections which ushered in a new executive led by Chiphinga.

However, it seems some members are still not happy with the way the elections transpired and have since threatened to drag the board to court.

The elections were withheld after some members boycotted the vote, saying they were not furnished with proper information.

Ntam board gave the complainants time to lodge their complaints before it finally went ahead to announce results of the elections.

“Things are not well in Ntam; first, they went ahead to hold elections without first holding the AGM according to the constitution. Now they are holding the AGM and yet they said they didn’t have money; they want to put in their people,” claimed one of the members, who did not want to be named.

Some members went to town on Ntam on social media ,saying it lacks direction.

Recently, Ntam Board Chairperson Timothy Chikoja said it was time for theatre practitioners to unite for the growth of theatre in the country.

Chikoja said the elections were long overdue and that he was happy that, now, there is Nec and urged them to unite the members and start its work for the growth of theatre

Ntam Taskforce Chairperson McArthur Matukuta said Sunday the AGM was violence-free and that apart from commissioning of Nec, an audit report was presented as well as other reports from the chapters.

“We are thankful to Malawi Gaming Board for the support of K1.5 million and Malawi Police Service for offering transport,” Matukuta said.

He admitted that there are some members who are trying hard to bring confusion in the association.

“For instance, there are members from North and Central who would want to bring confusion in the association and some of them were even sending threatening messages to fellow members but everything went on well,” he said.

Matukuta claimed that some members mismanaged the association’s funds and that they were hiding information from fellow members.

Ntam Publicity Secretary Fumbani Phiri said the AGM was attended by James Thole from the Department of Arts in the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Wildlife.

“There were also some amendments made in the constitution. Members had an opportunity to debate and amend some clauses in the constitution. The board commended the taskforce for a job well done in running the elections despite the several challenges,” Phiri said.

Chiphinga popularly known as Max DC also said the AGM went on well.

“We had representatives from all regions. On the issue of disgruntled members, it’s the ploy of regional chairs, who had interest in the elections by endorsing their own candidates. We are moving forward; we need to unite and work together for the betterment of theatre,” he said.

Meanwhile, Northern Chapter Chairperson Cecelia Komwa has been endorsed by the board as acting chairperson replacing James Mhango, who has been suspended.

Mhango is alleged to have failed the chapter in his capacity as leader hiding information from fellow members.

“The Northern chapter chairperson has been suspended pending investigations on issues of embezzlement of membership money and it seems he was doing all these things to cover up,” Chiphinga said.

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