Super League of Malawi (Sulom) says its executive committee members are free to contest in forthcoming Football Association of Malawi (FAM) elections set for December.
The clarification comes after it was revealed that the executive committee was against the idea of some of its members vying for positions at the mother-body’s polls.
The Sulom executive’s position was made in retrospect of past experience when vice-president Daud Suleman dumped Sulom and was elected FAM executive member less than a year into his four-year term.
While confirming that the issue was discussed at the executive committee meeting, Sulom president Tiya Somba Banda said it was observed that contesting for the FAM polls would be a betrayal to affiliates that voted for them into power in March.
“Let me put the record straight and with a clear conscience. We are just three months into office with a mandate to serve clubs. We are not barring anyone from contesting at FAM.
“Anyone in Sulom has a right to do so. Our humble advice as per the resolution is to ensure that we focus on fulfilling our promises to the clubs and we shouldn’t be occupied with FAM elections,” he said.
Somba Banda also clarified that those that want to contest for FAM positions will be allowed to do so and do not have to resign their positions.
However, soccer analyst and private practice lawyer David Kanyenda, who is former Be Forward Wanderers general secretary, felt one must resign first at Sulom before contesting for any position at FAM.
He said: “The rules are silent on the matter. There is no obligation to resign, apparently. That explains why office-bearers have contested FAM seats whilst serving in the ex-co of affiliates. Some win and others lose.
“Those who succeed then hold two offices concurrently—the FAM seat and the affiliate seat. This sounds untenable to me. If one wants to run for FAM, they must not wear the jacket of an affiliate and potentially vote for themselves.”
Kanyenda argued that going to the polls while holding a position in an affiliate body gives those contesting an advantage over others.
“Such privilege is not available to immediate past FAM ex-co members [or others] who won’t have voting rights but could be up against a candidate from FAM affiliate, who might vote for himself.
“Let all candidates running for FAM quit any posts in the ex-co of affiliates. Technically there’s an argument here that in fact you are ineligible to run for FAM if you hold a post in an affiliate ex-co since FAM statutes appear to bar one from holding two offices,” he said. n