Flames legend Kinnah Phiri says he is living in misery because some officials in the Ministry of Youth and Sports sabotaged him.
Phiri, considered as one of the country’s finest footballers ever, said in an interview yesterday that his contract as director of football was not renewed because some people wanted him out of the system.
He said: “I am struggling now because two officials in the ministry were not comfortable having me around for personal reasons. So, they recommended that my contract should not be renewed.
“I have been without a job for seven months now and things have been really tough for me, but I have left it in the hands of God.”
The former Malawi national;football team coach and striker said the Covid-19 pandemic has even worsened his situation.
“Failure was not the reason for not renewing my contract, it was the work of some evil people who were advancing their political and personal interests. No wonder one of them was removed by the new administration,” he said.
Phiri said his project proposals were not being funded as part of a plot to get rid of him.
“They wanted to create a picture as if I was not performing to justify their evil plans.
“I sacrificed a consultancy job at Mbabane Swallows in E-swatini [formerly Swaziland] to take up the director of football role only to be frustrated by a few selfish people,” he said.
Phiri disclosed that he had a meeting with the Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture a couple of weeks ago where he raised his concerns.
“I had a good meeting with the minister who assured me that he would thoroughly look into the issue,” he said.
Meanwhile, the former Nyasa Big Bullets marksman said time had come for the country to honour its sports legends when they are alive.
“Look at how legends such as Jack Chamangwana and Kannock Munde suffered before their deaths, it was as if they did nothing to put the country on the map, yet these are people who achieved a lot,” said Phiri.
The ministry’s spokesperson Simon Mbvundula said towards the end of a contract, the employee is appraised by his or her immediate boss and that forms part the determination on whether the contract should be renewed.
“As for the position held by Mr. Phiri, all I can say is that we will be seeking permission to advertise the post and if he wishes, he can reapply so that he competes with other aspipirants,” he said.
On his part, the minister confirmed having met Phiri.
Said Msungama: “Actually, it was me who asked to meet him. I wanted to understand issues surrounding his contract.
“So, as at now I am still enquiring from officials within my ministry.”
Phiri was hired alongside netball legend Mary Waya, who was employed as director of netball. Her contract was, however, renewed early this year.
Kinnah was quoted by The Nation earlier this year as having said that his tenure was punctuated by lack of support to his office.
He complained that his proposed project sought to improve grass-roots football was deprived of funding.