Re-elected Football Association of Malawi (FAM) president Walter Nyamilandu has admitted that his bid for a record fifth term was his toughest battle ever.
He floored his immediate past vice-president James Mwenda by 23 votes against 13 votes during an elective general assembly held at Sunbird Nkopola Lodge in Mangochi on Saturday.
“My friend James wanted this position so badly, but there could only be one winner. He had the hunger and the passion.
“It was my biggest fight ever. All the battles I have fought have never been as tough as this one because it was from within.
“He put up a good fight, but it wasn’t meant to be and I will live to remember this [experience],” said Nyamilandu in his victory speech.
He attributed his success to his trust in God.
“It was nobody else, but the hand of God because when God says yes, no one can say no. [Similarly], I want you to trust in God, never trust man.
“Some of us are downcast because we trusted man. I owe this victory to God and to my spiritual father [Prophet David Mbewe],” said Nyamilandu.
On his part, Mwenda was modest in defeat, saying: “The elections are done and dusted. People that are given the powers to put leaders in place have spoken and their voice was so loud that every Malawian heard.
“I accepted defeat immediately and wished the winner, Mr. president, good luck. Nevertheless, I am not disappointed, I am moving on with life.
“I want to take this opportunity to thank people that supported me through thick and thin and l want to say l love them all. To the people that l have worked with all these years, l say ‘you were amazing’.
“To the immediate past executive committee, l thank them for the wonderful time we had. To members of FAM secretariat, l felt comfortable working with them and to the fans l say thank you for your support. Tidzikumanaku ma stand [we will be meeting in the terraces],” he said.
Football analyst George KaudzaMasina said the results weren’t much of a surprise, “though they seem to have gone against the expectations of the general populace”.
He said: “As it is, the outcry of some football followers on the re-election of Walter seems to be misplaced as the process was done as per the FAM constitution. Mind you, all the competitors in this election were the framers of the constitution. “Going forward, it is important to lobby the affiliates to change some of the clauses in the constitution. Giving absolute powers to the chairperson [of an affiliate] to decide on the delegates is total madness and prone to abuse. You can’t rule out corruption creeping into the system