Former Flames coach Meck Mwase has refused to meet Football Association of Malawi (FAM) over his redeployment as Under-23 national team coach.
During its quarterly meeting held last Saturday in Mangochi, FAM executive committee resolved to relieve him of his duties and replaced him with technical director Mario Marinica.
The former Flames mentor’s lawyers Makiyi, Kanyenda and Associates have since written the football governing body to stay away from their client.
FAM general secretary (GS) Alfred Gunda disclosed in an interview yesterday that he had asked Mwase to meet him on Thursday morning “for discussions”.
He said: “I sent him [Mwase] a message on Wednesday and asked him to come for a meeting at 10am the following day [Thursday] and his response was that he would communicate.
“This was followed up by a phone call from our head of human resource and again his response was that he would revert.
“It is unfortunate that he did not show up because I was supposed to brief him on his new role and give him the letter of his deployment.
“But I still wrote him an e-mail on the same and we are waiting for his response.”
The FAM GS said Mwase’s no show coincided with a letter from his lawyers instructing FAM to cease and desist from contacting him.
The former Flames captain yesterday declined to comment on the issue and referred Weekend Nation to his lawyers.
Makiyi, Kanyenda and Associates managing partner David Kanyenda yesterday confirmed issuing the order.
Part of the letter to FAM, signed by Kanyenda, reads: “We, Makiyi, Kanyenda and Associates, demand that you Alfred Gunda, chief executive officer/general secretary of Football Association of Malawi [FAM], forthwith cease and desist any conduct calculated to intimidate, threaten, harass, molest, coax or coerce or compel our client to meet yourselves in respect of his labour grievances and without our involvement.”
The lawyer accuses Gunda of inviting Mwase to a meeting when he knew that the coach had engaged lawyers to handle the matter.
“Yet yourself subsequently purpoted to privately invite our client to a meeting without any agenda or with a hidden or ulterior agenda behind our back…We take extreme exception to your manoeuvres that seek to undermine the scope of our legal mandate,” the letter further reads.
It also states that: “Having unlawfully and unconstitutionally relieved him from his role as head coach of the Malawi National Team, it is not open for FAM to proclude him from seeking legal representation from a practioneer of his choice.”
Kanyenda further said they are proceeding to the Constitutional Court unless FAM admits liability and makes a satisfactory settlement.
He said: “Among other issues, our client is aggrieved with pay discrimination based on his race and Malawian nationality.
“There is a wide disparity between his and white coaches’ wages and fringe benefits in excess of K5 million per month.
“We will seek, among other reliefs, back pay or arrears for over 24 months and damages on an agravated or punitive scale.”
Kanyenda said local coaches have suffered “blatant racism” at the hands of FAM.
“When they hire a local coach, they push him to government so that he receives peanuts, but when it’s a white coach, they find money to give him hefty wages [[phwamwamwa],” he said.
FAM insists it did not fire Mwase, but redeployed him as Under-23 national team coach, contrary to the statement it released which did not mention his redeployment.
Soccer analyst Charles Nyirenda observed that FAM has realised how it botched up the matter and wants to iron out issues with Mwase. He said: “But it’s a bit too late. They just have to respect his decision and go through his lawyers on this one.”