Netball Association of Malawi (NAM) executive committee has come up with a resolution that bars its former treasurer Abigail Shariff and three current executive committee members from contesting during elections scheduled for May 29 in Salima.
The others are general secretary Carol Bapu, vice-general secretary Brian Gausi and treasurer Jane Kachali-Saidi, who are not interested in any position at the imminent polls.
NAM on Tuesday held a virtual meeting and resolved that nobody is eligible to contest for any executive committee position if he or she served two consecutive terms as an elected member of the executive committee.
The resolution, released on Wednesday and signed by NAM general secretary Carol Bapu as an interpretation of Article 24.3 of the body’s constitution, reads in part: “After serving two consecutive terms as an elected executive committee member, a person is not eligible to contest for any executive committee position even if it is on a different position to that held before.
“Unless the constitution is amended otherwise, after serving two terms, consecutive or not, a person cannot contest for any executive committee position in the association in future.”
The resolution comes a few days after Shariff, who served as NAM treasurer for two consecutive terms between 2009 and 2017, expressed interest to challenge incumbent president Khungekile Matiya. Former Queens captain Emmie Waya-Chongwe also eyes the hot seat.
Shariff said she was not ready to comment on the matter at present while the other three, who have served two consecutive terms, said they have no problem with the resolution as they are satisfied after their tenures.
“As of now I can’t comment on the matter,” said Shariff, who is member of Parliament for Zomba Likangala.
However, Bapu yesterday said the resolution does put things in order and not targeting any individual on the potential candidates’ list.
She explained that the resolution came after members observed that the constitution (containing the provision on the terms of office) was adopted in 2012, therefore, the provision (Article 24.3) should apply effective the term that commenced immediately after.
“The resolution was meant to clarify issues pertaining to the demands of our constitution. We did not target anyone,” Bapu said.
The article states that “elected executive committee members shall be elected in accordance with this constitution for a term of four years, and not more than two consecutive terms, which shall commence from the conclusion of the annual general meeting (AGM) at which elections occurred until the conclusion of the AGM in the fourth year where elections are held”.
Shariff was quoted by Malawi News on April 17 as saying that some netball stakeholders asked her to return to netball management as a president this time round.
“Calls for me to come back are numerous. I think it is time to do what people want. I will have talks with my family over the matter but personally I am decided. I will respect views of the people,” she was quoted as saying.
Netball analyst Wesley Namasala, who is also a legal practitioner, said NAM has done the right thing to come up with the resolution.
“The limit only looks at tenure of office as an executive member in whatever capacity. Put it simply, you cannot serve two terms as GS or Treasurer and then jump into another position. That is not the spirit behind the provision. If it were so, the provision could have expressly said so. Therefore, NAM’s resolution is an accurate interpretation of the article,” he said.