Hearing of the case for three individuals who obtained an injunction to stop Football Association of Malawi (FAM) elections failed to take place after the association’s disciplinary committee quoted wrong sections on the charges.
According to the summons letter, FAM charged Wilkins Mijiga, Tiya Somba Banda and Yabwanya Phiri of taking a football dispute to a conventional court contrary to article 68 of the Fifa statutes and article 67 of FAM statutes.
However, the quoted sections have nothing to do with taking a football matter to court.
FAM general secretary Suzgo Nyirenda said in an interview that the hearing has now been shifted to April 14.
“There were some errors in the charges which we had to correct,” Nyirenda said.
“Mijiga also gave an excuse as he was in Mzuzu attending a meeting.”
Fifa’s article 68 in the new statutes is on authorisation to distribute images and it reads: “Fifa, its member associations and the confederations are exclusively responsible for authorising the distribution of image and sound and other data carriers of football matches and events coming under their respective jurisdiction, without any restrictions as to content, time, place and technical and legal aspects”.
FAM article 67 is on unforseen contingencies and force majeure and it reads: “The Executive Committee shall have the final decision on any matters not provided for in the FAM Statutes or in cases of force majeure.”
The correct section in Fifa statues is article 59 part 2 while in FAM statutes it is article 47.
Private practice lawyer David Kanyenda, who is representing Somba Banda, expressed concern over FAM’s lack of knowledge of its own statutes and that of Fifa.
“We were surprised to hear FAM shamelessly accepting that they made a mistake on the charges against my client. It was even shocking to hear the disciplinary committee asking us if we were ready for the hearing to proceed after correcting the errors.
“I mean, there is no way you can arrest someone and charge him with theft but on the day he is appearing in court you change the charges to murder and you expect the case to continue.
“The school boy errors just show how desperate the association is to build a case against my client for personal grudges. There are several people that took football matters to court. I can mention the case between Mighty Wanderers and Silver Strikers case on Tony Chitsulo and Kaporo United who sued FAM. But none of them have ever been summoned. I mean this is selective justice,” he said.