Football Association of Malawi (FAM) is struggling to recover from the failed annual general meeting (AGM) as the association needs about K2.9 million (about $ 4,604) legal fees and a further K17 million (about $ 26,994) for an extra ordinary general meeting (EGM).
On Wednesday, FAM president Walter Nyamilandu admitted that the association is now feeling the pinch of the failed general assembly.
“The cost of the elective congress was about K17 million. The process of vacating the injunction has been costly indeed because we have to pay legal fees and incur cost of an extra ordinary general meeting,” Nyamilandu said.
“It’s tough. But this was unforeseen. It will be a strain on our meagre resources. There is no chance of Fifa helping. We have to dig deeper and draw resources from the business fund.”
The association has no choice but to hold the EGM since financial reports have to be passed by the general assembly ahead of the 2016 funding request from Fifa.
“All reports including the activity report and financial statements will be submitted at the EGM,” he said. “It will be costly exercise because these costs could have been avoided had it been that there was no injunction.”
The general assembly was thrown into turmoil after aspiring presidential candidates Wilkins Mijiga and Willy Yabwanya Phiri and vice-presidential hopeful Tiya Somba Banda obtained an injunction stopping the elections.
Instead of going on with deliberations on other items on the agenda, the assembly opted to suspend all deliberations hoping the injunction would be vacated by Saturday noon.
FAM lawyer Wapona Kita only managed to vacate the injunction around 7pm and it was too late to hold the full general assembly.
The delegates resorted to go to the last but one time to elect new office-bearers and agreed to hold the EGM within three months.
Northern Region Football Association chairperson Lameck Khonje, who moved the motion to defer other items on the agenda, justified his motion.
“There was no way we were going to deliberate all items on the agenda at 8pm. There were only three options. Either to defer all the items on the agenda including elections and that would mean there would be a power vacuum since the old executive’s mandate had expired,” Khonje said.
“The other option was to appoint an interim executive after deferring all the items on the agenda. But the best option was to defer the other items and go on with the election so that there is no power vacuum.”
However, one of the observers at the AGM, Sydney Chikoti, who is Azam Tigers’ chairperson, noted that the AGM could have deliberated on the other items on the agenda that were equally crucial.
“The whole morning was spent doing nothing while waiting for the injunction to be vacated when such items like the financial statements could have been presented,” Chikoti observed.
“I thought it was only the elections that were stopped by the injunction? I don’t see any reason why the other items could not be deliberated that time.”
But Nyamilandu insisted that there was no way the assembly could have proceeded while the injunction was in place.
“Firstly and foremost, we needed to make submissions to the court injunction. Hence the (morning) adjournment,” he said.
“Secondly, this was an elective congress and we needed the court ruling before proceeding with the congress.” n