NAM has turned down conditions set by its estranged partner Rach Family Trust (RFT) for the resumption of funding as part of their K600 million five-year deal.
Instead, on recommendation from its lawyers, the Netball Association of Malawi (NAM) has filed its intention to terminate the agreement.
Among other conditions, RFT demanded the dismissal of NAM general secretary (GS) Carol Bapu and apologies through the press from the Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture, Malawi National Council of Sports (MNCS) and NAM itself for “negative publicity”.
But in its response dated January 24 2020 signed by president Khungekile Matiya, NAM describes the conditions as “unreasonable and unfounded”.
Reads part of the letter: “As per our [earlier] letter dated 12th June 2019, you have not provided any further funding to NAM under the sponsorship agreement since May 2017.
“This is despite NAM submitting requests for such funding. Further [to that], you have not honoured your contractual obligation to provide netball kits and equipment for the use of the national netball team, among other obligations.
“We, [therefore], find most of the conditions set by you for resumption of the funding to be unreasonable and unfounded, To this end, we find it unreasonable to continue with the sponsorship agreement.
“Therefore, by this letter, we give you notice of our intention to terminate the sponsorship agreement in terms of clause 6.1.3 of the Agreement made on 25th February 2017. For the avoidance of doubt, the sponsorship agreement will be deemed terminated effective 15th April 2020.”
Matiya confirmed the development in an interview yesterday, saying the conditions set by the UK-based trust were unrealistic and impractical.
“They cannot be setting such conditions when they have only released K15 million in two years.
“For the past two years, we tried to engage them through all the necessary channels, but all our efforts proved futile. So, after thorough consultations with our lawyers and other stakeholders, including MNCS, we have decided to serve them with the notice of sponsorship termination,” she said.
Matiya also said in their letter, RFT did not specify the reasons for demanding the NAM GS’ removal.
“We had written them enquiring about the sponsorship money. We told them that they were not fulfilling their obligations. So, in their response, they just said those would be the conditions,” she said.
RFT chairperson Ravi Rach was not available for comment yesterday.
But MNCS executive secretary Henry Mereka also confirmed the development in an interview yesterday.
“We are aware of the issue. Our role as government was to facilitate the sponsorship and it is unfortunate that the marriage has not worked this far.
“In this case, we just wish NAM all the best as they plan to move on,” he said.
Among other things, according to the contractual agreement signed in 2017, RFT was supposed to be giving NAM K120 million annually for the Queens and other netball programmes.
NAM sought government’s intervention on the matter in 2018, but the then sports minister Francis Kasaila said they gave up hope because all their efforts to engage RFT proved futile.
In November last year, NAM secured a K360 million three-year sponsorship deal with privately-owned FDH Bank with K300 million going directly to Malawi Queens, K45 million for a national netball cup and K15 million for administration.