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Race to succeed Walter Nyamilandu begins

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With Football Association of Malawi (Fam) incumbent President Walter Nyamilandu’s recent indication that he would not stand beyond his current term, the race to succeed him has started within the Executive Committee.

Malawi News has learnt that first vice-President, James Mwenda and Executive Committee member, Daud Mthathiko, are among Nyamilandu’s potential successors in 2019.

However, in football things change dramatically. Thrice, Nyamilandu claimed that he would not seek re-election only to U-turn, hence he cannot be trusted completely.

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Reports suggest that Nyamilandu has a succession plan with Mwenda and Mthathiko as the favourites.

But yesterday, Nyamilandu said the association might start working on the succession plan next year to ensure a smooth transition.

“I wouldn’t say there is a deliberate succession plan put in place but that will start as we go into the second year. It is still early days for anybody to start campaigning. We are just finishing a year in December, so there is a long way to go for people running for any positions,” Nyamilandu explained.

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Nyamilandu also dismissed reports that he was grooming Mwenda and Mthathiko as his successors.

“Probably, people might misinterpret Daudi’s involvement. He is the executive member in the Southern Region, so he is more of my right-man in the South for operations. And then we have Mwenda and Othaniel Hara [second vice-President]. We have an Emergency Committee which comprises Mwenda, Hara and Jabbar Alide. Daudi is not even in the emergency executive, so [this] is just a misinterpretation of events,” Nyamilandu said.

Nyamilandu is into his fourth four-year term having won the presidency in last year’s December 19 elections held in Mangochi District where he defeated Willy Yabwanya Phiri and Wilkins Mijiga who were recently banned for a year from football involvement for taking an issue to do with the electoral process to an ordinary court of law.

The incumbent Fam president described his first year into fourth-term as a mixed bag.

“Exciting and challenging at the same time. But we are making good progress. I must say the cooperation from all the stakeholders has been tremendous,” he added.

In a separate interview recently, Mwenda said it was too early to talk about the succession plan having served as vice- President for close to a year only.

“I am focusing on my current position. On top of that I have not finished the year yet as Fam vice- President,” Mwenda said.

On his part, Mthathiko he had no ambitions of becoming the next Fam president.

“I have never harbored an ambition to be the next president. I have just joined the association and I am still learning,” he said.

Nyamilandu was recently quoted by The Nation newspaper that he would not stand again after the expiry of his term.

“That is my understanding of the three-term limit. Firstly, why was the three-term limit introduced? People must look at the intended purpose of putting the three-term limit which is to stop people from being in position for over three years,” Nyamilandu was quoted on October 7, 2016.

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