Malawi National Council of Sports (MNCS) has evicted five sports asssociations from its administrative block in Blantyre.
In a memo dated January 9 2018 which we have seen, MNCS executive secretary George Jana gave Netball Association of Malawi (NAM), Athletics Association of Malawi (AAM), Hockey Association of Malawi (HAM), Lawn Tennis Association of Malawi (LTAM) and Special Olympics Malawi (SOM) a 12-day ultimatum until January 25, to vacate the premises so as to create space for the council’s new staff members.
The impromptu eviction has forced some of the associations to keep their sports equipment at houses of individuals, where it is prone to theft and abuse, as they search for offices to rent.
The associations have been putting up at the Sports Council offices for free for over five years.
Reads the memo in part: “By requirement of government, MNCS is expected to fill all positions on its structure that are currently vacant…Currently, the council has engaged the process to fill the positions and expects the identified recruits to report for work on February 1, 2018.”
It states that it is unfortunate that the council does not have adequate office space from where the new recruits would operate and it was in the light of this that they gave the associations notice of eviction.
“The memorandum serves as notice for you to vacate the space at the latest by January 25 2018 to allow us adequate time to redecorate the same before occupancy by the new recruits. Kindly accept our sincerest apologies for any inconvenience this may cause. We hope you understand our situation and that you will co-operate,” the memo explained.
However, while describing the eviction as a setback, the concerned associations confided in The Nation yesterday that the short-notice was even more agonising.
“It is hard for a big sports body like us to find a new office space within 12 days. This is a big setback because it has put our equipment at risk as we search for new office apartments.
“It is painful that we are back to the old days of having briefcase offices and conducting our operations under the tree. It is very unprofessional to operate without a secretariat which we hope to find in two months,” said AAM general secretary Frank Chitembeya.
SOM coordinator Felix Chisowa said they have requested one of their board members to keep their materials at his house.
Ltam general secretary Stan Kaunda said they have squeezed their equipment in a small room at another MNCS-owned facility Blantyre Youth Centre whereas NAM president Khungekile Matiya and HAM administration manager Benjamin Chaura could not reveal where they are operating from.
When asked why they issued a short notice to evict the associations, Jana said: “It was because we had been trying to see if we could avoid the situation but we, eventually, noticed the move was inevitable.
“In fact, we were at pains to effect the eviction. We were even contemplating to find other places to operate from but we could not find any solution. We would very much want the associations to have offices because without a base it is difficult to partner with the business world as they are not taken seriously.” n