By Mabvuto Kambuwe:
Football Association of Malawi (Fam) President, Walter Nyamilandu, and his vice James Mwenda have insisted they are still friends despite the latter declaring his intention to contest for the presidency during the association’s elections in December.
Nyamilandu is yet to make his position clear ahead of the polls but Mwenda has been courting Fam affiliates to garner support.
However, since Mwenda declared his candidature, there has been talk that the big two were not seeing eye to eye.
But during the 2022 Qatar World Cup qualifier between Malawi and Botswana, the two sat next to each and cracked jokes as they watched the game.
This raised speculation that they might have mended fences after Fam removed Mwenda as Organising Committee Chairperson of the Under-17 Cosafa Cup which Malawi will host in Blantyre next month.
In an interview Friday, both Nyamilandu and Mwenda claimed they were still friends.
“We remain friends despite having differences in certain areas. There are no permanent enemies in politics. I respect his position as my vice, hence the need to create an amicable working environment. We need to interface with each other so that we execute our respective roles professionally,” Nyamilandu said.
On his part, Mwenda said his relationship with Nyamilandu was cordial.
“The president is still my friend and we have come from afar. I remember I was also the best man during his wedding. We have been friends for a long time and nothing has changed. My relatives and his chat regularly,” Mwenda said.
The two top men in Malawi football said they have never discussed anything regarding the December polls.
Incumbent Fam executive members, Daud Mtanthiko and Jabbar Alide, have expressed interest to contest for the position of first vice president whereas Othaniel Hara and Lameck Khonje are vying for the post of second vice president.
Several administrators have expressed interest to contest for the position of committee members.
Some of the prominent names on the list are Rashid Ntelera, Pikawo Ngalamila, Mohamed Selemani, Felister Dossi and Masiya Nyasulu.