As Malawi Electoral Commission (Mec) is yet to announce the official result of the fresh presidential election, the sports fraternity is thrilled with reports that Tonse Alliance leader Lazarus Chakwera has won the presidency.
Chakwera of Malawi Congress Party (MCP) alongside his running mate Saulos Chilima of UTM have taken a commanding lead and are poised to form the next government.
The two are well known in sport circles having served in different portfolios. Chakwera was once a board chairperson of the Malawi National Council of Sports whereas Chilima, a well-known basketball player, was the chairperson of make-football-happen campaign when sponsors had deserted the sport.
Football Association of Malawi (Fam) president Walter Nyamilandu said the manifesto of Tonse Alliance has an exciting agenda on sports which if fulfilled can transform Malawi football.
“We will be very keen to collaborate with the new government and its leadership to fulfill its agenda so Malawi football can be a shining star.
“It’s great that both leaders have passion for football as demonstrated from past experience and we would want to cultivate a strong political will so that the dreams of soccer loving
Malawians are fulfilled,” he said.
Nyamilandu also called for massive investment in sports.
“It is high time that sports and football in particular is taken seriously and not just like a social event but as a serious career worth investing in because of its socio economic benefits,” he said.
Super League of Malawi (Sulom) treasurer, Malinda Chinyama, speaking in personal capacity, backed the pair to turnaround sports in the country.
“The euphoria and expectations from the sports world is very high. Obviously these are men of high standards in service and objective delivery. We should expect a radical change in sports discipline, management and decision execution. They know the sports fraternity in the country is hungry for success, so too are they, as they are the critical path to successful delivery,” said the former Nyasa Big Bullets chairperson.
Kukoma Diamonds chairperson, Lumbani Mtonyo, said for Chakwera and Chilima to transform sport in the country, then local administrators should also change mindset.
“I expect a lot from them. I expect this team will now require accountability and responsibility from us. They will not just assist the sport without us being accountable. In doing so we will win the heart of corporate sponsors. It should start with us if we prove to be more accountable and responsible, we will surely get their support. These people like soccer. And I see them even coming to watch the games. I have seen SKC attend and even participating in some sport activities. I am expecting positive feedback from them. I am expecting 100 percent commitment and support,” she said.
One of the pundits, George Kaudza-Masina, said both Chakwera and Chilima have got a good understanding of sports in the country and this might be a blessing to the sports fraternity.
“With Chilima as someone from the private sector and having chaired the Make Football Campaign it’s a plus which is likely to a plus for the game. For these reasons let the sports fraternity take advantage of the country’s leadership as they will be talking the same language in the development of sports in the country.
“As a former Sports Council Chair, Chakwera has firsthand understanding of the problems affecting the sports associations and let us hope for the best from him and Chilima who is a sportsman at heart,” said the former Fam secretary.
Bullets council member, Jim Kalua, also spoke highly of Chakwera and Chilima saying Malawi sport will change and benefit from them.
“These are serious guys and they will transform this country in all fronts. I am expecting economic boom and conducive environment for our football. We want to see companies start sponsoring teams again. There was a time we had teams like Railways, Mitco, Ronto, Moneymen, Nico, Sucoma and Oilcom just to mention a few. Reading their manifesto I think will be implemented. We want football which can be run in a transparent manner not shortcuts and with seriousness of this team I have no doubt,” he said.