Luso TV are refusing to pay K1.2 million to Nissan Malawi for the repairs of the bus which they sponsored as the prize for their Bus Ipite Bonanza.
Be Forward Wanderers won the Nissan Caravan after beating their age-old rivals Nyasa Big Bullets 5-1 on aggregate.
The bus is reported to have developed a clutch plate fault as the Nomads were on the way to Blantyre from Lilongwe.
But latest developments indicate that the fault was noted before the second leg match by a driver assigned by the Football Association of Malawi (FAM).
The Nomads general secretary (GS) Mike Butao and his FAM counterpart Alfred Gunda could not hide their frustration on the matter in separate interviews yesterday.
Said Butao: “It is now three weeks since the bus was repaired, but it is still detained at Nissan Malawi because Luso TV have not settled the bill and now Nissan Malawi has warned that it will start charging for storage.
“Our patience is wearing thin because we have no clue as to when Luso TV will hand over the bus to us.”
The Nomads have since lodged a complaint with FAM.
“We tried to play down the issue because we believed it was a simple and straight-forward matter which would be resolved within a few days. But it is now 23 days since the bus broke down and there is total silence and inaction from Luso TV.
“We appreciate the efforts made by Luso TV to hold the bonanza and the opportunity afforded to us to win a bus. This was a massive opportunity which we can never take for granted. That is why we have been down-playing the breakdown of the bus in the press.
“But now we are under pressure from our supporters, players and management to parade the bus to the supporters and to actually start using the bus. We have postponed this ceremony twice now,” reads the letter addressed to the FAM GS, which The Nation has seen.
GS Butao added: “It is also on record that during the pre-match meeting when we queried why the bus was not in Lilongwe for the second game which was a decider, FAM reported in the presence of everybody that the bus was in Blantyre because it had arrived with a clutch problem which was reported by the driver.”
But Luso TV station manager Dick Juma said they would not settle the bill because they were not informed about the fault.
“We learnt about the bus developing a fault through the newspapers, otherwise, the matter was never reported to us. The only communication we got was the invoice from FAM.
“All things being equal, FAM or Wanderers were supposed to inform us about the fault and then we would have advised them on how to proceed other than rushing with the bus to the garage. We cannot pay because whatever happened was after we had handed over the bus,” said Juma.
However, Gunda warned Luso TV that they risk suffering the consequences “if they continue to play hide-and-seek games.
“They may want to play smart now, but they will regret in the end. We have been trying to get hold of them but they are not picking our calls neither are they responding to our e-mails,” he said. n