The Netball Association of Malawi (NAM) yesterday advertised executive committee posts in local dailies instead of going by their constitutional provision to call for nominations from their affiliates, who later elect the executive committee.
But while the constitution states that regional, district, national coaches and national umpires’ committees should nominate the candidates, NAM president Rosy Chinunda yesterday argued there is no such an arrangement in their statutes.
“Our constitution is different from those of other associations because ours allows people to express their interest in the executive committee positions as announced by the general secretary,” she said.
However, she admitted making a mistake by issuing a vacancy advert that appeared in yesterday’s editions of The Nation and The Daily Times for people to apply for posts of president, vice-president, general secretary, vice-general secretary, treasurer and vice-treasurer instead of calling for nominations. She said the anomaly had since been rectified.
“The way it was put was as if there are vacancies that need to be filled by way of applications, but we are actually asking aspirants to express their interest and, thereafter, we will scrutinise the applications in liaison with Malawi National Council of Sports [MNCS] to see if they meet the requirements,” she said.
Normally, article 24 (2) of NAM constitution demands that the general secretary calls for nominations 45 days before the date of the annual general meeting in which elections for the executive committee are due.
However, with elections set for June 3 at a yet to be disclosed venue, the vacancy has urged applicants to submit their applications by May 31 only three days before the polls.
The vacancy, which demands applicants to have a Malawi School Certificate of Education (MSCE) with at least three years experience in sports management, reads in part: “Applicants with necessary qualifications and experience should address their application letters with detailed curriculum vitae and contact details of three traceable referees to the address below not later than May, 31, 2017.”
But Southern Region Netball Committee (SRNC) chairperson Judith Chalusa said the current NAM leadership deliberately flouts procedures to easily get positions through unfair means.
“As affiliates, we are supposed to nominate members and vote them into the various positions. This is NAM general elections and not application for jobs,” she said
Chalusa also queried NAM’s delay to announce the venue for the elections, saying such uncertainty is a recipe for unfair results.
Netball analyst and lawyer, Wesley Namasala, has described the developments as weird and laughable.
“It is quite baffling that NAM executive committee constantly appears to be ignorant of its own constitution. Just recently, the president [Chinunda] was asked why they have not complied with the 45-day rule vis-a-vis the elections, she said it was agreed to proceed in that manner,” he said.
“I found this to be weird because you cannot agree to violate a constitutional provision. The only thing possible is to agree to change the law following laid down procedures. Once the law is changed, then you can proceed accordingly.”
MNCS executive secretary George Jana said they noted the anomalies and they had asked NAM to rectify them in good time.
On why MNCS allows NAM to set elections date within a few days of announcing the polls, Jana said the local sports overseer has no powers on such arrangement because the dates were agreed upon between NAM and its affiliates during the annual general meeting (AGM) last month.