By Ronald Mpaso:
A meeting that immediate past minister of Labour, Youth, Sports and Manpower Development Francis Kasaila called for to brainstorm on sports development is scheduled to go ahead despite the appointment of Grace Chiumia as Kasaila’s replacement.
The appointment was announced on Wednesday, throwing the indaba into doubt with about a week to go.
Kasaila has been re-deployed to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Tourism after succeeding Henry Mussa early this year.
It is the second time that Chiumia will be heading the ministry in two years.
But the ministry’s Principal Secretary, Joseph Mwandidya said he was not aware of any changes to the meeting.
Mwandidya said he had been hearing reports from some quarters that the meeting would be cancelled with the expectation that Chiumia would pursue her own agenda but maintained that the session was confirmed during handovers yesterday morning.
“Handovers were done this morning and the meeting has been confirmed. I do not have anything to the contrary. Maybe let us wait until Monday if at all there will be any changes. But the information that I have for now is that the meeting is confirmed,” he said.
Meanwhile, sports associations have welcomed the new minister back to the fold, saying working with her will be easy since she is not new to sports.
Netball Association of Malawi General Secretary Carol Bapu congratulated Chiumia on her re-appointment and wished her well.
“We have worked with her before and she knows where to start from. We can only wish her all the success and as a netball fraternity, we are looking forward to working with her again,” Bapu said.
Athletics Association of Malawi General Secretary Frank Chitembeya said Chiumia’s return to sports is good news as she used to attend most events organised by associations during her first tenure at the ministry.
“She attended many sports activities and we hope her return will bring back the good times we enjoyed with her. As sports associations, we feel encouraged when our minister attends our events,” Chitembeya said.
Volleyball Association of Malawi Vice President James Kaunda said the volleyball fraternity also welcomes the return of Chiumia to the ministry with the hope that she will continue to spearhead the development of the game across the country.
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