For all their sweat at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games in Scotland, it appears uncertain that the Malawi Queens will get their game bonuses as MOC and Sports Council are embroiled in a blame game over who is responsible to pay the allowances.
Queens won five games at the Games, translating to K100 000 ($200) each player.
The development somehow vindicates shooter Mwawi Kumwenda who declared not to report for national duties unless issues related to Queens’ allowances are addressed.
Responding to Malawi Olympic Committee (MOC) president Oscar Kanjala’s claims that it is the responsibility of Sports Council to pay game bonuses, the council executive secretary George Jana said government allocated K60 million (about $120 000) to MOC to cater for all expenses, including bonuses.
“That is not true. MOC submitted a budget of K89 million (about $178 000), which was reduced to around K60 million and, therefore, everything was supposed to be planned around that figure.
“It does not make sense to say the bonuses should be paid separately when they were supposed to fall under the same budget,” said Jana in a telephone interview from Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, yesterday.
But Kanjala stuck to his guns, saying it is council’s responsibility to pay Queens’ bonuses.
“I already made our position on the matter and I will not comment further; otherwise, I will start mudslinging.
“Suffice to say, we do not pay game bonuses. That is why even for the New Delhi Games, it was government through Sports Council that paid the game bonuses. The money that we got was for [travel] allowances and there was nothing like game bonuses in our budget and he [Jana] may wish to cross-check that. If they have evidence, let them produce it,” said Kanjala.
Netball Association of Malawi (NAM) general secretary Carol Bapu conceded yesterday that the impasse has put them in a tight corner.
“Our initial understanding was that we would get it from MOC, but with the latest development, then it is a bit confusing.
“Anyway, we will have to plan our next step,” said Bapu.
Queens captain Caroline Mtukule-Ngwira described the development as frustrating.
“When we sweat for our country, we expect to be rewarded and it pains when such situations come up,” said Mtukule-Ngwira.
She said in view of the development, NAM should secure funding to pay the players their outstanding bonuses.
“Being our parents, they should look for an altanative because as it is, the issue could drag on and on,” she said.
The Commonwealth Games took place in Scotland in July this year.