The Malawi National Council of Sports (MNCS) board has resolved to remove Athletics Association of Malawi (AAM) leadership from office following its failure to account for K50 million grant as exposed by a recent audit it carried out.
AAM received the grant from world athletics governing body International Athletics Associations Federation (IAAF) for the year 2018/19.
The council’s board chairperson Oliver Nakoma said in an interview yesterday, they wrote the athletics body last week, giving it a chance to submit supporting documents before taking measures to change leadership.
He said: “We reminded them to bring the documents last week. If they are not bringing them we have made a resolution that we report them to the authorities.
“Added to that, if they don’t submit the documents, we will ask them to step down and we will call for an emergency annual general meeting for athletics to elect a new committee.”
He further said AAM has been questioning the council’s intervention, arguing it does not have jurisdiction over internationally sourced grants.
But Nakoma said it is their responsibility to ensure transparency and accountability in all sports associations.
“This is an association that belongs to Malawians. This money they are failing to account for was meant to benefit the country. This is why we want them to account for it,” he charged.
Nakoma observed that other associations that have not been accounting for funds will be required to do so.
“This is what we want to change. Every penny must be accounted for. This is the only way we can progress.”
However, in an interview, AAM general secretary Frank Chitembeya said that they will not give in to the council’s demands to account for the funds.
“We are very ready to face the council whereever they take this matter to. They have no mandate to remove us or hold us accountable on funds that don’t come from government,” he said.
Chitembeya also denied claims that they abused the money, saying it was used appropriately.
“It is the same money which we have been using to hold championships, send athletes and officials to international competitions. So, what are they talking about,” he said.
“In fact, government has not been giving us funding to operate efficiently, but they are busy following up on money that did not come from the council.”
An audit report early this year, showed that the athletics body failed to issue supporting documents for their expenditure transactions between 2017 and 2019.