Football Association of Malawi (FAM) president Walter Nyamilandu has warned football fan Beleti Severe, popularly known as ‘Billy One’, over threats he issued regarding the FAM boss’ intention to seek re-election.
In a video clip circulating on social media platforms, Severe says if Nyamilandu insists to seek a fifth term of office during FAM elective general assembly on December 14, ‘Billy One’ and his followers will smash windows at Mpira Village (FAM offices) in Chiwembe Township, Blantyre. He also threatened to beat up FAM affiliates that are behind the Fifa council member.
But Nyamilandu yesterday said he has seen the clip and he has since reported the matter to police because “my team cannot live in fear anymore”.
“I should not be intimidated by ‘Billy One’. This is barbaric. Such elements of criminality are not accepted in this day and age. We are living in a free world, where everyone is free to exercise his democratic rights,” he said.
“It is not a secret that ‘Billy One’ has been sent. He is working for his master. He has been parading anti-Walter banners ever since. And we know that this is not first time he has caused violence in football. He was banned for assaulting the [then] Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Labour, Youth, Sports and Manpower Development [Sam Madula].”
Nyamilandu added that Severe cannot continue to get away with “murder” and that he is not above the law.
“I am warning him to stay away from me, my team, the affiliates and the property of FAM. He will be the first suspect if anything wrong happens to my life, my family, members of Team Walter or that of the affiliates that support me,” he warned.
But in an interview yesterday, ‘Billy One’ said he did not expect Nyamilandu to take the matter to police, but call him for a dialogue.
“I did that video clip because the FAM president has been ignoring me for a long time. As the interim national football team supporters’ committee chairperson and someone who runs a youth team Machinjiri United, I believe it is important that the president should not treat me as a nonentity. We should be working together to develop football,” he said.
In a related development, a group calling itself Concerned Football Supporters Malawi has planned “peaceful” demonstrations between November 15 and December 15 against Nyamilandu’s fifth term bid.
In a notice letter to Blantyre City Council dated October 25, the grouping states that “the peaceful demonstrations against Nyamilandu will be carried out in Blantyre and extend to Mangochi, Salima, Mzuzu and Zomba”. The letter has been signed by seven people, namely, Moffat Kamaliza, Jack Bwanali, Fred Chiwaula, Shadreck Mposa, Burnet Munthali, Richard Tembo and Flonnie Nyambalo.