Former Be Forward Wanderers chairperson Humphrey Mvula says the Nomads have lost direction and need to conduct some soul-searching before they go to the polls.
Mvula, who held various positions at Wanderers between 1978 and 2006, said this in the wake of a revelation by main supporters committee chairperson Melvin Nkunika that their head-hunt for a prospective club chairperson has not been successful.
The Lali Lubani Road outfit has set February 8 as tentative date for the executive committee elections and February 1 for the main supporters committee polls.
“It is sad that an institution like Wanderers, which has millions of followers, is failing to attract or indeed find suitable candidates for the position of chairperson, but at the same time, it is not surprising because there are so many problems internally.
“The major one is that the club has been politicised and, as a result, individuals that have the capacity to assist feel insecure. The club has been run by politicians before such as [former trustees chairperson]
John Tembo, but they never brought politics to Wanderers as is the case now,” said Mvula.
He also said standards have gone down at the club such that it can no longer attract high-profile individuals in society.
“Wanderers used to be a disciplined club with high values and that is why it was called ‘Angerezi’, but now it’s just a shadow of its old self.
“Supporters also wield too much power at Wanderers and they sometimes go out of their way to despise officials because they believe it is their club and they can do whatever they want. This is another reason people are developing cold feet,,” he said.
The former Nomads chairperson also faulted the path taken by the supporters to approach potential officials.
“Indeed, it is necessary to head-hunt, but the approach process is chaotic. Perhaps what the supporters should have done was to approach eminent former officials to carry out that task,” said Mvula.
He cited John Magombo, Brown Mpinganjira, Jack Kamwendo, Friday Jumbe, Timothy Chirwa, Dennis Kambalame, Vizenge Kumwenda, former president Bakili Muluzi and himself as potential Nomads to lead the head-hunt drive.
Mvula also said in the recent past, the club’s good governance principles have not been followed whereby it could not even carry out an audit.
He also faulted the sponsors, Be Forward Limited, of lacking visibility.
“They have largely not been visible, they do not reach out to the set-up and have not set proper guidelines that must be followed such as the role of the supporters and the executive committee.
“Very few people know about them and that distant relationship is also working against the club although the sponsorship itself is sound,” he said.
The club’s outgoing chairperson Gift Mkandawire said he could not comment on the political aspect.
“But I agree with him [Mvula] that for the past two years or so, the sponsors have not been visible enough. They have not been coming regularly as they used to and communicating through e-mails alone is not enough. I think they can do better,” he said.
On supporters wielding too much power, Mkandawire said: “That is a bit tricky because Wanderers is still more or less of a community team and, as such, it is difficult to do away with the supporters.”
On his part, Nkunika said as supporters, they feel people are shunning the club’s hot seat because of the financial challenges that are there.
“And reports about mismanagement of funds have also not been inspiring. But we are indeed struggling to convince capable people to come and contest, especially for the position of chairperson. “So far, we have approached about four individuals and they have all rejected, but we are not giving up,” he said.