The leadership crisis in the Visual Arts Association of Malawi (Vaam) refuses to die as there is one more meeting aimed at resolving the differences.
Vaam secretary general, Gilbert Mpakule, confirmed both the meeting and internal strife, which has choked the effective operations of the body.
Recently, the wrangles reached a boiling point and led to the cancellation of Vaam’s annual general meeting (AGM), which was expected take place at Grace Bandawe Conference Centre in Blantyre.
“We are expecting to have another meeting this week to discuss the way forward on the AGM. We cannot go to the polls without ironing out some of the issues that are currently hindering the consensus on the AGM,” said Mpakule.
Incumbent Vaam president Chrisford Chayera accused the Southern Region block of bulldozing the AGM with unwarranted figures of participants. He threatened to pull out of the presidential race as the field is not levelled.
He was also of the view that the AGM be held in Liwonde or Salima to ease logistics of all members from Southern, Central, Eastern and Regions.
Currently, Vaam has 40 paid up members from the Southern Region, 15 from the Central Region, 10 from North and 17 from the Eastern Region.
However, the decision by the steering committee of the AGM, which suggested taking on board all the paid up members to the AGM, did not please the incumbent president.
“It’s not fair at all. How can one region have more representatives than the other at the AGM? That’s a straightforward plot,” said Chayera.
But Mpakule said there is nothing strange in the arrangement because it was aimed at solving the leadership crisis within Vaam.
“We thought it wise that the only way to resolve the leadership vacuum in Vaam is to bring all members together so that they decide what is good for them. At this juncture, we should respect artists’ voices,” he said. n