There was drama on Monday evening in Lilongwe when suspended Epac FC coach Leo Mpulula confronted the club’s general secretary Obed Kasunda-Banda after he produced a suspension letter.
In a scene witnessed by The Nation, a visibly bitter Mpulula demanded that he be fired rather than be suspended.
Epac on Monday suspended Mpulula following a dismal start to the season and he has since been replaced by his assistant Abbas Makawa.
“Just terminate my contract and give me my benefits as this is unfair to me. We can’t work like this. I know this is just one way of frustrating me,” he said.
Mpulula signed a one-year contract with Epac, which included a K90 000 (US$200) monthly salary.
Kasunda-Banda tried to calm down Mpulula, saying he will be getting his full salary until there is a review of his performance.
At that point, Mpulula nearly fought with Epac executive committee member Khembo Mumba after a heated exchange, but he was restrained by Kasunda-Banda and eventually calm was restored.
Banda said when he contacted Mpulula on the phone to inform him of the news and give him the letter, the coach followed him to Biwi Township where the confrontation took place as he was refusing to accept the suspension letter
“The patron and the whole executive felt the performance of the team was not improving and that there was need to suspend the coach pending a review. I told Mr. Mpulula the news on the phone and he asked me where I was. I told him I was in Biwi and he followed me there. I then invited him into my car and communicated the news.
“It’s unfortunate he did not take it well and became emotional,” said Kasunda-Banda.
Asked if the club will consider Mpulula’s request to have his contract terminated, the Epac GS said the issue was expected to be tabled at an executive committee meeting which was scheduled for last evening.
He also said Mpulula’s contract is performance-based, hence; the executive committee’s move to suspend him after just six weeks into the new season.
However, when contacted later on, Mpulula said Epac should make their position plain other than use suspension as a tactic to avoid breaching the contract.
“If they are not impressed with my performance, they should just come straight rather than suspend me indefinitely,” said Mpulula
Epac are second from the bottom of the 15-team TNM Super League with five points from six games. They have won one, drawn twice and lost three games. Last season, Epac finished 10th.
Before he was hired by Epac, Mpulula’s last Super League team was Azam Tigers where he also left in controversial circumstances following the club’s decision not to extend his contract.