Some club officials who were allegedly plotting to dissolve Super League of Malawi’s (Sulom)
Executive Committee insist that they have not apologised to the league governing body.
The officials were reacting to Sulom General Secretary, Williams Banda, who yesterday told Times Radio that the club administrators had apologised over the alleged coup.
“I have spoken to some of them and they have apologised. They said they were just carried away to participate in that mission,” Banda claimed.
But some notable officials, such as Nchalo United Chairperson Peter Chiipanthenga, insisted that he had not spoken to Banda.
“I have not apologised because, if you look at what I said in the WhatsApp [group] conversation, I was only trying to find out why Sulom was created and I was seeking constitutional guidance pertaining to what we were discussing,” Chiipanthenga said.
Civil Sporting Club General Secretary, Ronald Chiwaula, insisted that he had not spoken to Banda.
“Meanwhile, I have decided not to make further comments on this issue. What we were discussing was [something] of national importance but I won’t comment any further,” Chiwaula said.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, another official who was part of the group said they did nothing wrong to warrant an apology.
“That thing [dissolving the Executive Committee] has been there and is still there, only that the leakage of the screenshot of the WhatsApp [group] conversation might disturb everything. People are now disassociating themselves from the group but we cannot be intimidated,” he said.
Be Forward Wanderers General Secretary, Mike Butao, insisted that clubs were not bent on a coup but, rather, they created the WhatsApp group to express their frustrations with Sulom’s failure to address outstanding cases such as the need for the league to have co-sponsors and the issue of the league administrators’ arrogance.
“We created a discussion group in which ideas were thrown around. Some were endorsed, others were pushed aside. Our concerns, not only as clubs but as Malawians, are on several issues. We all know [that] there are cases that have never seen the light of day.
“Probably, the only notable case to have been handled last year was the Wanderers-Mzuni issue because it was originated by one Sulom official, but how many other cases of violence?
“If we are to take football forward, it has to start with recruitment of qualified people at Sulom secretariat; people who can market the game; otherwise, Sulom is making itself irrelevant. Every club has complained about the calibre and arrogance of some of the secretariat personnel but nothing gets done to address the situation,” Butao said.
In the leaked conversation, Chiwaula, Chiipanthenga, Silver General Secretary Thabo Chakaka-Nyirenda and Nyasa Big Bullets Chief Executive Officer Fleetwood Haiya, were allegedly discussing to move a motion during this weekend’s Sulom Annual General Meeting on the possibility of removing the Executive Committee.
In reaction to the latest development, Chakaka-Nyirenda said: “I am a lawyer by profession and I respect people’s right to privacy. This issue was discussed in private and I cannot be discussing something that was [discussed] in private.”
Football analyst Peterkins Kayira faulted the club officials’ approach to the matter.
“In the first place, why are these people coming out now with this solution [of getting rid of the Executive Committee]? Where were they all along? Why are some clubs not involved in this matter? The league ended in December and these people have been quiet. We should avoid putting personal interests on issues of national importance,” Kayira said.
Former Bullets official, Chimwemwe Nyirenda, has since advised the disgruntled officials not to talk about dissolving Sulom’s Executive Committee but rather replacing the officials they are not happy with through constitutional means.
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