Flames caretaker coach Eddington Ng’onamo has said the appointment of Joseph Kamwendo as captain is on interim basis until the future of long-serving skipper Peter Mponda is determined.
Ng’onamo said this when he responded to a question on whether the Mozambique-based midfielder would permanently take over the armband from Mponda.
The caretaker coaching panel, which includes assistant coaches Ernest Mtawali and Patrick Mabedi, last week named Kamwendo as captain and Silver Strikers’ skipper Lucky Malata as his deputy.
“Let me clarify that the appointment of Joseph is on an interim basis and he will lead the team for the next three to four games that we [caretaker coaching panel] will be in charge.
“Our position is that Peter Mponda is still the national soccer team captain because he might return after his rehabilitation.
“After all, the process of appointing a permanent captain involves a number of stakeholders such as FAM technical subcommittee because it is a position of authority,” said Ng’onamo.
‘No one is indispensable’
However, Mponda on Sunday said he does not see why authorities cannot appoint a permanent captain for the Flames.
“I am surprised that there is so much fuss about the issue of Flames captaincy.
“The [truth] is that even if I might have an opportunity to be considered for national duty after my rehabilitation, I do not think I will continue serving as national team captain as I am heading towards retirement. Sizamuyaya izi, [these are not lifetime positions]. I have done my part.
“The position of national team captain is very vital; hence, the need for the authorities to appoint a substantive captain now and, in my view, I thought the choice of JK [Joseph Kamwendo] is good because he has all the attributes of a leader. Of course, the others that could be considered for that role are Robert [Ng’ambi] and James [Sangala],” said Mponda.
Meanwhile, Moses Chavula, who has been the stand-in captain, has said he is not disappointed with the caretaker coaching panel’s move to replace him with Kamwendo.
“Being captain of the national team goes with extra responsibilities and I feel honoured to have served in that capacity. I am not bitter at all and I wish the new captains all the best,” said Chavula.
Mponda took over the Flames captaincy from John Maduka after the latter’s retirement from the Flames in 2005. Before Maduka, one of the current assistant coaches, Mabedi, was Flames’ captain.