Malawi Olympic Committee (MOC) outgoing general secretary Jappie Mhango is a frontrunner in the organisation’s presidential election after getting 12 nominations against incumbent leader Oscar Kanjala’s one.
For the past weeks, MOC affiliates have been nominating candidates ahead of the elective annual general meeting scheduled for March 28 in Mangochi.
MOC administrative manager Naomi Chinatu confirmed the nominations, but said a final decision on eligibility of contestants will be made by the body’s judicial commission.
“These nominations will be validated by the commission as per our constitution. What I can say, however, is that the presidential nominees are honourable Mhango who got 12 and Mr Kanjala who has one nomination,” she said.
The 18 MOC affiliates have been nominating people for all positions, including general secretary, treasurer and committee members.
Asked to disclose the other nominees, Chinatu said: “Some nomination papers have issues such as lacking signatures so the judicial commission will iron out those issues before we make them public.”
But reports indicate that Flora Mwandira will go unopposed as vice-president while outgoing treasurer Henry Sakala has been nominated to retain his position.
Malawi Amateur Boxing Association president Pyson Likagwa is among contenders for the committee members positions.
Reacting to the development, Mhango, who is also Rumphi North Democratic Progressive Party-DDP) member of Parliament, said: “I am surprised with the nomination. I didn’t know affiliates have so must trust in me.
“I am humbled and if it is their wish [to have me as their president], who am I to say otherwise. This said, I have much respect for my brother and friend Oscar.”
On his part, Kanjala said he respected the affiliates’ decision to nominate Mhango
“Everyone has their own ambitions so I have to respect that. My agenda is very strong, but you know voters decide. Whether their decisions are based on that or other expectations is hard to tell,” he said.
Both candidates have said they will release their manifestos.
Athletics Association of Malawi (AAM) is among affiliates that nominated Mhango. Its general secretary Frank Chitembeya said they opted for him because of his support towards athletes.
Malawi Archery Association general secretary Henry Sakala said they have also backed Mhango’s candidature because of his “vast knowledge and commitment to sports.” Kanjala has been at the helm of the committee for the past 10 years while Mhango has served as treasurer before he became the secretary general in 2015.