Malawi National Council of Sports (MNCS) has allayed fears from sports fraternity following a cabinet reshuffle which has seen sports moved to Ministry of Labour, Youth, Sports and Manpower Development under Henry Mussa.
Office of President and Cabinet on Tuesday evening announced the cabinet reshuffle which saw sports and culture ministry previously headed by Grace Chiumia, dismantled, with culture attached to Ministry of Civic Education.
The sports fraternity has expressed reservations on the changes arguing that there is little correlation between sports and labour, but MNCS executive secretary George Jana dispelled the fears arising from the changes describing them as uncalled for.
“Sports has never been an independent ministry except maybe once a long time ago and I cannot even recall when. It has always been a department under a portfolio. We have been under local government, culture, education. That has been the trend,” he said.
Jana also assured the sports fraternity of continued development programmes despite the change.
“I was with the minister just this morning at the handover of the Bingu National Stadium in Lilongwe. From our interaction, he has stressed that he would like to see all sectors of sports developing in the country,” he said.
Former Sports Minister Mosses Dossi noted that the fears were due to the unrelated nature between youth, labour, man power and sports.
He said: “Sports is a big sector and it indeed deserves to be a full ministry if we are to develop. Most of our Sadc members do have Ministry of Sports as an independent portfolio. But then that is the prerogative of the President.
“He might have good reasons for dismantling the ministry and attaching it to labour which is indeed unrelated to youth sports. May be he decided to do that after he was advised so as he is trying to control government resources.”
However, newly appointed minister Mussa has promised that sports sector would not be affected by the change and called for unity between government, sports council and sports associations.
Mussa, a keen follower of sports said he supporters Manchester United and has history in javelin, discus throwing, basketball and holds a taekwondo black-belt.
“We should all join hands in the quest to develop sports and not only live it to the Janas, [Football Association of Malawi president Walter] Nyamilandus,” he said.