Joka Investment, the firm that managed the gates in last Saturday’s Blantyre derby between Big Bullets and Be Forward Wanderers at Kamuzu Stadium, cannot be verified at the Registrar General’s office.
The company, which claims to have a business certificate, has come under scrutiny after it collected a meagre K16 million, yet the first round encounter between the two giants at the same venue grossed almost K27 million.
Super League of Malawi (Sulom) general secretary Williams Banda revealed on Thursday that the body’s investigations had failed to verify the company’s details.
“Our team went to Registrar General and it failed to get the details of the company as regards its area of specialisation, directors and other details,” Banda said.
As went to press, Sulom had summoned Joka Investment on Friday for interrogation.
But firm’s director Frank Kafumbwe insisted that he registered his business.
He e-mailed Weekend Nation a copy of a certificate under the name of Francis Kondwani Kafumbwe registered on September 24, 2010 under reference number 131090.
When we tried to verify with the Registrar General’s office on the authenticity of the certificate, no details were found.
The company could not be found in the electronic system. The office also failed to trace the hard copy of the company file that could reveal details such as the directors and area of specialisation.
However, there were several firms operating under the name but with different details reference numbers.
But Kafumbwe insisted in a telephone interview that his company was registered.
“What is happening now is just because people are jealousy,” he said. “My company has been managing gates for several years.”
Kafumbwe, however, admitted that last Saturday gate collections was way below his expectations.
“I am also disappointed with what we collected. But I was not at the stadium. I sent my supervisor. So, it would be difficult to explain the reason behind what happened. But my only concern is that security is the biggest let down during such big games.
“This compromises our performance. I wish we could be given the mandate to manage security as well as the gates. It’s difficult for us to work when the security is porous. People enter the stadium without paying using other passages and not the gates. So, you see, the stadium is filled but not all the people have actually paid,” he said.
The company’s director also denied any business partnership with Bullets supporters after some accused the firm of conniving with them.
Meanwhile, FAM has pleaded with Sulom and clubs to do background profiling of companies before engaging them.
A week ago, the association called companies to apply if they were interested to manage the gates during the Standard Bank Knockout quarter-finals.
FAM competitions manager Gomezgani Zakazaka revealed that Joka Investment was one of the companies that expressed interest but failed to submit relevant documents.
“I got a call from someone who said he was from Joka Investments and that they wanted to manage the gates in Standard Bank Knockout quarter-finals,” Zakazaka said.
“I asked them to submit an expression of interest with a detailed company profile including the registration certificate, but they did not come back to me.”
A blame game has now ensued between the stakeholders with Sulom blaming Bullets for the mess while the club’s executive is blaming its supporters who identified Joka to manage the gates.
Bullets vice-general secretary Kelvin Moyo accused the supporters’ main committee of the mess. But suspended the supporters’ general secretary Mabvuto Chibambo said the executive committee was also involved in endorsing the company.
“As supporters we only recommended that Joka Investments should be used to manage the gates. This is not the first time for them to manage Super League games. They have been there before. In fact, after the Saturday game they also managed the gates for the Sunday game between Epac and Surestream at the same venue,” Chibambo said.
Bullets players boycotted training during the week demanding the resignation of Chibambo and main supporters committee treasurer Stone Tambwali over the gate collection scandal.
Soon after the game, Be Forward Wanderers vice-general secretary Chris Kananji said the manner in which the firm managed the gates was unprofessional.
“We knew they could not make a huge amount as we did because there were a number of irreguralities. For instance, they could not reconcile ticket sales and the cash collected,” said Kananji.