The Malawi National Council of Sports (MNCS) has said it is unaware of the Taekwondo Association of Malawi’s (TAM) elections that saw Andrew Soole beating incumbent president Benedicto Tsinde by six votes in Salima last week.
The polls also ushered into office Taipeni Kamanga, Tinashe Mbawala, Matilda Mkwembe, Harry Manyengo, Yamikani Chimpeni and Medson Ntila as vice-president, general secretary, vice-general secretary, treasurer, vice-treasurer and athlete representatives respectively. Executive committee members’ seats went to Blessings Nkhoma, Henry Zonda, Valerie Ntila and George Mbewe.
“We are not aware of the elections. We only know that they went to Salima for the presidential competition,” said Jana yesterday.
Tsinde, who amassed four votes against Soole’s 10 ballots during the polls, said the elections were illegal, but he let the polls to go on so as to quell emotions of some disgruntled athletes and officials, who threatened to boycott the presidential contest.
“We knew it was illegal right from the beginning. It could have been abuse of funds if we had used the championships’ money for the elections. However, what could we do when the majority wanted to boycott the competition if we had not conducted the polls?” said Tsinde.
“I told everybody that the funds we had were only meant for the competition, but most of them seemed to disagree, arguing we just wanted to cling on to positions. The elections were not budgeted for and quorum was not reached to have the polls. We will sit down as an executive to hold the actual elections.”
Soole could not be reached for his comment, but one of the newly ‘elected’ members told The Nation yesterday that the elections were genuine only that they have been nullified after noting the incumbent committee’s “embarrassing defeat.”