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Saulos Chilima cautions Fam, fundraiser hits K73.4 million

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Vice President Saulos Chilima has sent a strong message to Football Association of Malawi (Fam), urging it to prudently use money that has been raised through the Kuipatsa Moto Flames Golf Tournament.

Chilima led golfers and the corporate world in fundraising for the Flames at Lilongwe Golf Club on Saturday but advised Fam to use the money for its intended purpose.

The golf tournament raised K73.4 million through sponsorships, registration fees, raffle draw and auction sales; beating the target by almost 150 percent.

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While commending Fam for the initiative, Chilima advised the association to be accountable and transparent.

“The best way to say thank you is to use the money well. My message to Fam is to use the money we have raised for the intended purpose. For example, you do not come to Lilongwe from Blantyre and sleep in a five-star hotel,” Chilima said.

“This nonsense must stop. Please use our sweat for the right things. Speaking for myself, I was here by 6.45 AM and this is 16.20 PM -therefore I would expect my sweat to count for the right things.”

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His comments came following reports that some officials slept in five-star hotels.

The main aim of the event was to raise funds for Flames preparations and participation at Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) finals in Cameroon next year.

Fam 1st vice president, Justice Jabba Alide, who is also chairperson of Flames Resource Mobilisation Taskforce, said they will make sure the money raised will be accounted for.

“Fam has always been accountable for all the funds it receives from its partners and sponsors. We will do the same with these funds,” he added.

Fam is keeping fingers crossed that the government will release funds to enable the team fulfill back-to-back World Cup qualifiers against Ivory Coast in South Africa on October 8 before a return leg in Benin on October 11.

Sports analyst George Kaudza-Masina said Chilima’s remarks were a timely reminder to Fam.

“It is unfortunate that Chilima had to remind the leadership of Fam on the importance of accountability when it has to be a norm and virtue by the powers at Chiwembe,” he said.

“Accountability has always been a concern by most football lovers and sponsors at large. But this language seems not to be in the vocabulary of our friends at Chiwembe [Fam].”

The Flames are expected to depart for South Africa on Wednesday.

At the end of the golf tournament, FDH Bank- Malawi Team B comprising Justin Mkandawire and Thando Sibindi emerged champions with a net of 67, beating a field of 140 golfers.

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