Football Association of Malawi (FAM) has directed regional football associations to hold elections by the second week of March following Anti-Corruption Bureau’s (ACB) verdict on alleged corruption in nomination of candidates.
The directive follows FAM’s emergency virtual meeting held on Wednesday, which discussed the ACB report as well as an opinion offered by the association’s ad-hoc legal committee, according to a statement FAM released Friday.
Reads the report in part: “At its virtual emergency meeting held on February 17 2021, the executive committee of the Football Association of Malawi deliberated the report that was issued by the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) on Regional Football Association Nominations and Elections and also reviewed a legal opinion that was submitted by its ad hoc legal committee.
“In line with the Regional Football Association statutes and Article 75 of FAM Statute, the executive committee made the following resolutions; that the Regional Football Associations should convene Elective General Assemblies within 21 days from the date of this notice, that fresh nomination forms should be submitted to FAM through the office of the general secretary with a copy duly sent to the general secretary of the regional football associations within 10 days.”
The report said FAM, as returning officer of the forthcoming elections, has assured football stakeholders that the elections will be conducted in a free and fair manner.
In an interview, FAM competitions and media director Gomezgani Zakazaka said the association has just acted on ACB recommendation.
He said: “What we have done is to act on what ACB recommended that aspiring candidates should not be involved in handling the election process because they are interested parties.”
Reacting to FAM’s resolution, Southern Region Football Association (SRFA) chairperson Raphael Humba welcomed the news, saying they are ready for the elections.
He said: “We are more than ready for elections because there’s nothing that has changed. Actually, what ACB has done is simply to recommend on how the elections should be handled and not as what people alleged.
“We have always been sending copies of aspiring candidates to FAM.”
Humba also said the association’s emergency committee was expected to meet yesterday at press time to determine the elections date.
“We should be able to hold the elections by March 14 as directed by FAM,” he said.
Humba, who disclosed his interest to contest, appealed to aspiring candidates to lobby for nomination to contest.
Northern Region Football Association (NRFA) chairperson Lameck Khonje welcomed the directive saying: “We are always ready. We will do as ordered.”
Central Regional Football Association (CRFA) chairperson Austin Ajawa also said they have welcomed the directive as there is nothing that has changed apart from the anti-graft busting body’s recommendation on how the electoral process should be done.
ACB stopped CRFA, SRFA and NRFA from proceeding with their elections last November after alleged corrupt practices during the nomination process of candidates.
The ACB also recommended that FAM and Malawi National Council of Sports should oversee the nominations and not regional affiliates.