The joint fund-raising committee that was set up by domestic football powerhouses Mighty Wanderers and Big Bullets has said President Joyce Banda’s People’s Party (PP) pledged to provide K10 million (US$24 570) towards the initiative, including the K5 million (US$12 285) prize money for the two-legged Into Sports Giants Cup.
The revelation follows a query from Bullets executive committee over the organisers’ failure to pay the prize money and also how the proceeds from gate collections were handled.
Push came to a shove yesterday when Bullets chairperson Kondi Msungama lost his cool and accused the joint committee of dilly-dallying on the issues yesterday.
“I think we have been pushed too far and we are fed up. The joint organising committee is not being fair. These boys sweated for 180 minutes and they expect to be paid, but I sent my treasurer [Noel Lipipa] and GS [Harold Fote] and all we are getting are stories.
“We were told that the proceeds from the gate collections would be shared equally between the two teams and that as champions, we would get K3 million prize money, but there’s nothing concrete coming out and I am now planning to seek advice from our legal advisers because we suspect foul play,” fumed Msungama yesterday.
He also alleged that according to information which they gathered, their rivals got more from the gate proceeds instead of an equal share.
The development prompted the secretary of the joint committee, Stevie Madeira, who is also a Nomads’ executive committee member, to spill the beans.
“I think the problem is that some of the Bullets trustees, who are part of the joint committee, did not tell their executive committee the truth.
“The truth of the matter is that Into Sports only sponsored the equipment which included sets of uniforms, match balls and the cup, but it was PP which pledged to provide K10 million towards the initiative, including the prize money and we are currently in the process of finalising the logistics to get the money.
“Let me assure them that they will get the money. Apparently, at the time the joint committee was set up, Bullets had no executive committee in place and that is why their trustees [Jim Kalua, James Busile and Gaston Mwenelupembe] were incorporated together with their supporters committee chairperson Jomo Osman.
“As Wanderers, we are aware of the situation because about three executive committee members, including the chairperson [George Chamangwana] and general secretary [David Kanyenda] are part of the set-up,” explained Madeira.
However, Madeira could not say why they kept PP as a co-sponsor under wraps.
“Actually, PP also paid for accommodation expenses for both teams to the tune of K600 000,” he said.
Madeira also confirmed that the proceeds from gate collections were yet to be paid to the two teams because the initiative is ongoing.
He also confirmed that Wanderers got more from the proceeds [K2.1 million] compared to BB’s K1.2 million.
“But let me also state that although the total net from the two games was K5.2 million, there were also other expenses such as K300 000 that was paid to Black Missionaries, K427 000 went towards the hiring of Axa buses, the two teams also got K100 000 each for preparations for the second leg and a certain amount was also paid to the models,” he said.
Madeira added that the two teams also overstretched their accommodation budgets in the capital as BB’s bill came up to K441 000 while that for Wanderers was K374 000.
“That meant we had to pay an extra K215 000 on top of the K600 000 that was paid by PP and the difference also came from the gate proceeds,” said Madeira.
He said the reconciliation will be done after getting PP’s pledge.
However, when contacted for a comment, PP deputy publicity secretary Ken Msonda referred The Nation to the President’s adviser on communication and politics Elias Wakuda-Kamanga who promised to get back to this reporter, but had not done so at the time of going to press.
Into Sports’ managing director Shabir Ismail could neither confirm nor deny the committee’s claims that his shop only sponsored the equipment.
“I have got nothing to say on that. Talk to George [Chamangwana],” he said. But when contacted, Chamangwana could also not comment on the matter.