The Malawi Queens’ 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games outstanding dues’ saga seems to be headed for an endless conclusion as the players have now turned down government’s resolution, describing it as vague.
The development follows a resolution that was made by the Ministry of Youth and Sports during a meeting with representatives of the players, Malawi Olympic Committee (MOC), Netball Association of Malawi (NAM) and Sports Council on December 27 2013 that MOC should pay the dues by January 10 2014.
The meeting resolved that MOC should pay the delegation allowances for seven days in accordance to the rate of that time.
But according to a letter from the players, signed by Linda Magombo-Munthali and addressed to the chairperson of the meeting Jameson Ndalama who is also director of sports in the ministry, government’s resolution was vague as it did not address the critical issues that they raised.
“The resolution was vague, as it is only the date that was stipulated; the amount of days to be paid for was not agreed norwas the rate of the dollar to the kwacha to be used as well as on the shoe deductions.
“Therefore, this letter serves to put the record straight. It still stands that each player is owed $500 [about K225 000 each] and Edith Kaliati [who was] the coach then, is owed $910 [about K409 500],” reads part of the letter.
Altogether the figure adds up to slightly over K3 million [12 players and a coach].
It also states that their expectation is that they will be paid in dollars, if the prevailing rate at the day of payment on January 10 2014 or earlier, is not agreeable with the paying party [MOC].
“It should be noted that in the first place, this transaction was supposed to be done in dollars right there in India. Therefore, we should not be victimised for the inefficiencies in the system then and now.
“Secondly, the team was never supposed to be deducted money for the shoes bought in India [and] we expect a full refund of K29 000 [about $72.5] for each aggrieved member. The mistakes of MOC for buying inappropriate shoes despite specifications provided by NAM, should not be transferred to players, we should not be victimised at all on this as the inappropriate shoes were returned in 2010,” the letter further reads.
In conclusion, the letter which was copied to the minister of youth development and sports , his principal secretary, Sports Council and NAM, reads: “We hope this will be resolved as soon as possible without either party having to seek legal redress on the issue.”
Peace Chawinga-Kalua, who was the team’s captain then, confirmed that they chose Magombo-Munthali to represent them.
“After consultations, it was agreed that she should represent us in the matter,” said Chawinga-KaluaMOC general secretary Hellene Mpinganjira refused to comment on the issue and referred The Nation to the committee’s president Oscar Kanjala.
Kanjala also said he could not comment as he did not attend the meeting and in turn, referred the issue to treasurer Jappie Mhango.
“I would refer you to our TG [treasurer general] because he is the one who represented us or indeed the ministry since they were the ones who convened the meeting,” said Kanjala.
However, Mhango could not be reached for his comment, but Ndalama claimed that he did not get a copy of the letter from the players.
“I am not in receipt of the letter, but my boss [the PS] received a copy. I can therefore comment after going through the contents. I also did not have a chance to follow up with MOC on why they have not effected payment as resolved in the meeting.
“It is unfortunate that this issue continues to drag unnecessarily, but we’ll follow it to its logical conclusion,” said Ndalama.