Disagreements have arisen over the exclusion of clubs from voting ahead of the October 18 Northern Region Football Association (NRFA) executive committee elections.
Article 14 of the NRFA statutes empowers affiliates—which are the district committees— to nominate duly authorised official delegates to represent them at the general assembly as follows; seven delegates from the top seven teams in the Premier League and three from Division One clubs in accordance with their respective log tables at the time of calling for the general assembly.
It also includes three delegates from each district association.
However, in an interview on Tuesday, NRFA chairperson Lameck Zetu Khonje said: “In the present scenario where the league is not in progress, teams are ineligible to vote in the upcoming polls.
“If the league was in progress, it would have been a different story. I am simply highlighting constitutional provisions which I am mandated to uphold. It is all about governance.”
Khonje is seeking another term of office and will face his deputy Felix Mbonekera Msiska.
On his part, NRFA general secretary (GS) Masiya Nyasulu said it is important that issues of upholding the constitution “should be followed as highlighted by the chairperson”.
But speaking on behalf of clubs, Baka City team manager Alick Mzungu, whose team finished second last season, said sidelining teams from voting is a serious breach of the association’s constitution.
He said: “We had the Top-Four bonanza in which they [NRFA] used last season’s log table. It, therefore, does not make sense to discriminate teams now. We feel it is just a ploy to sideline teams from voting.
“Clubs are owners of the league. They should not be victims of football politics. The constitution is clear that we are voters and no one should rape the constitution,” he said.
Mbonekera was not available for comment while Alufeyo Chipanga Banda, who is vying for the position of vice-chairperson, refused to comment on the matter.
However, Obua Mwamusale, who is challenging the incumbent treasurer Chauka Mwasinga, said he is surprised with the development.
“We already have teams in place. It, therefore, does not make sense to say that teams should not vote,” he said.
Football Association of Malawi GS Alfred Gunda said: “That is an issue of statutes interpretation and the custodians are better-placed to explain.”
On his part, football analyst Julius Mithi said barring teams from voting is tantamount to rigging elections.