Uncertainty surrounds the renewal of contracts of sports legends Kinnah Phiri and Mary Waya as directors in the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture which expired in January this year.
The ministry confirmed the expiry yesterday, a week after Phiri, who was director of football, told The Nation, that his tenure was punctuated by lack of support to his office.Waya is director of netball.
Kinnah complained that his proposed project designed to improve grassroots football was deprived of funding. He compared himself to a ghost worker.
Phiri and Waya signed year-long deals last February for roles created to help strengthen structures of the two most prominent sports codes in the country.
The ministry’s spokesperson Symon Mvundula said: “Yes, their contract expired.”
Asked when they will renew the deals, he said he needed to consult the Human Resource department.
“I need to find out from Human Resources personnel,” he said.
On his part, Phiri said he was told to stop reporting for work in January to wait for the contract renewal.
He was, however, optimistic of extending his stay in the office, saying he was promised the same.
“When you are interested in renewing your contract, you alert the government three months before the expiry. I did that late last year. So I am just waiting to hear from them,” he said.
Phiri stated that he has unfinished business as his first year did not go according to his plans.
“I was recruited to improve football from grassroots level and that is what was in my concept paper. It is my hope that I will get funding for the project once my contract is renewed,” he said.
Waya was pivotal in the formulation of the netball coaches and umpires training manuals and showed her interest to continue in the role.
“We are at the implementation stage of that netball project. I believe that if the technical people like coaches and umpires have deep knowledge, they will help improve netball standards at grassroots and professional levels,” she said.