- Incurred during the Queens’ participation in African tourney
Netball Association of Malawi (NAM) is swimming under a pile of debts in excess of K60 million incurred during the Queens’ participation in the Africa Netball Championship last month, the Weekend Nation has established.
NAM, through its general secretary Carol Bapu, also confirmed the development claiming that they found themselves in such a predicament because they were banking on their official sponsors Rach Family Trust (RFT) who had committed to pump in K45 million.
According to Weekend Nation findings, the debt has been incurred through unpaid air tickets to Uganda costing around K12 million, a K36 million loan and unpaid accommodation bills during local camping in the region of K13 million.
Said Bapu in an interview: “It is true that the sponsor promised to give that amount and it is true that we had to borrow from government [through Malawi National Council of Sports] as departure approached.”
She also confirmed that they have not paid for the air tickets, accommodation and food during the team’s month long camping in Lilongwe.
“Air tickets bill is around K12 million while the local camping cost us K13 million,” she said.
Bapu has further stated that the sponsor has promised to commit the funds it promised NAM: “They say they are processing payment but we are not aware when we will receive the money.”
A source close to NAM and RFT confided in this paper that the netball body presented a budget to the sponsor days before the tournament.
However, with departure on June 15 nearing, the source said RFT did not issue any payment.
“Since the sponsor was noncommittal NAM approached Malawi National Council of Sports [MNCS] to ‘borrow’ additional money on top of the K7 million which it already asked for earlier,” he said.
Rach Family Trust chairperson Ravi Rach refused to comment on the issue saying “ask NAM officials. They are better placed to comment.”
MNCS executive secretary George Jana confirmed that they gave NAM K36 million in total and that the first instalment amounted to K7 million.
“What you have heard is true. In total we released around K36 million for the netball team to cater for their accommodation, food and allowances whilst in Uganda,” he said.
Jana further said NAM will have to repay the money that council provided.
“The amount the council spent on the team will have to be collected back from NAM since it was meant for other programmes,” he stated.
The council boss also confirmed that NAM has not paid for air tickets and local accommodation bills.
“You may obtain details from the association itself,” he added.
NAM and RFT signed a K600 million five-year deal earlier this year which, according to the contract whose copy Weekend Nation has, the Trust became the country’s “netball and national team main sponsor.”