Malawi government has said the process of terminating contracts for Kinnah Phiri and the entire Flames coaching panel may take time because they will have to seek legal advice on how to proceed.
Malawi’s Youth and Sports Minister Enoch Chihana on Wednesday said while the responsibility of hiring or firing national coach rests in the hands of the Football Association of Malawi (FAM), there are other procedures that need to be followed; hence, the move to seek advice from the office of the Attorney General (AG).
“The responsibility of hiring or firing national team coaches rests in the hands of FAM because they work directly under the association.
“But then there are procedures that need to be followed because you cannot just fire people as if they were working at an estate. It is not a straight-forward process.
“The first step was for FAM to submit a report to my ministry justifying their decision which they duly did. Now, there are also contractual issues that need to be looked into and that is where the office of the AG comes in. These people were on contracts and based on the contents of their respective contracts, we will have to seek legal advice on how to proceed,” said Chihana.
“The office of the AG has to be involved because it is provided in the Employment Act. It requires his opinion on how we are supposed to proceed. He might as well determine that they be redployed elsewhere,” he said.
He said officials from his ministry will soon engage officials from the office of the AG on the matter.
The minister also said technically, the three are still employed by government until such a time when the process of terminating their contracts is finalised.
“Technically, they are still government employees because we have not yet written them letters to formally terminate their contracts, but we will try as much as possible to speed up the process,” said Chihana.
He also said it is only after that process is finalised that government can consider FAM’s request to engage an interim coach.
FAM president Walter Nyamilandu said they followed the required procedures in recommending the coaching panel’s removal.
“The responsibility of hiring and firing of the coaches rests in the association because they work directly under the association, but the process needs government endorsement since they are the ones who fund their pay.
“To that effect, we briefed government on the move [to recommend the coaches’ firing] and subsequently submitted a report justifying the action based on the continued poor performance of the national team,” said Nyamilandu.
He also said in the meantime, FAM will continue hunting for a caretaker coach in the forthcoming engagements while waiting for government to finalise the process of terminating the contracts of Kinnah and his backroom staff.
“Hopefully, we should have an interim coach by the end of the month,” said Nyamilandu.
FAM recently recommended to government the termination of Flames coach Kinnah Phiri, his deputy Young Chimodzi and technical adviser Jack Chamangwana owing to poor performance.
The three still have 18 months remaining on their two-year contracts.