Football Association of Malawi (FAM) electoral appeals committee has overturned the ruling of Electoral Committee which disqualified one of the presidential candidates Willy Yabwanya Phiri based in Canada on the basis of residence.
Yabwanya, who was disqualified along with several others, appealed to FAM appeals committee against his disqualification saying he is eligible to stand as his stay in Canada is temporary as such he was legitimate Malawian to stand for the presidency
Lawyer John Gift Mwakhwawa representing Yabwanya also argued during the hearing that the word “residence” doesn’t mean permanent residence and in the book of law one can be a resident of different place like Zambia, South Africa and Tanzania but still remains in Malawi as his residence doesn’t mean he is not a Malawian but he is there temporary.
Mwakhwawa also gave example of United Nations representative to other countries in Africa who he said can be UN residence representative for Malawi and Zambia at the same time but he is not a permanent resident
In their ruling the Appeals committee which is chaired by Supreme Court of Appeal Judge Lovemore Chikopa and lawyers George Bakuwa and Patrice Nkhono ruled in favour of Yabwanya that he is eligible to stand as FAM president against incumbent Walter Nyamilundu who seeksa fourth term.
In other Appeal cases, Fam executive member James Mwenda who is vying for Fam vice presidency has been cleared to stand on vice president position after his candidature eligibility was challenged by his strongest contender Tiyanjane Somba Banda who is Super League of Malawi treasure.
Somba through his lawyer Mwakhwawa challenged Mwenda’s eligibility as he claimed he didn’t meet the minimum requirement of MSCE certificate as he only submitted his Diploma.
The Appeals committee ruled that Mwenda is eligible to stand as what he submitted was above the minimum requirement as such he was eligible to stand on the vice presidency position
Somba Banda said he respect the ruling as he was not against Mwenda personally but he wanted it to be on record for future reference on the same matter.
“I respect the decision of the appeals committee as it has made it clear that one can be a FAM executive member even without having an MSCE. Though the likes of Sammys were penalised before using the same article, we therefore need to rephrase the article so that people should not abuse it for selective justice”, Somba Banda said.
On his part Mwenda who welcomed the ruling happily as it has put to rest all talks on his eligibility and said it’s all for the good of the game.
Meanwhile, the committee has also ruled in favour of Hubert Mfune appeal against his disqualification on the basis that he didn’t submit his MSCE as Mfune through his lawyer David Kanyenda argued that they did produce MSCE and its secretariat negligence and careless that lost the copy and during the hearing they did produce their original certificate copy.
The committee has maintained the disqualification of current FAM executive member Paul Mzungu who was disqualified on the basis that he did not submit his copy of profile explaining his football.
The Committee also threw away an application by other interested parties against presidential aspirant Wilkins Mijiga eligibility as the committee says they lacked proper backing and procedure of Appeal.
Former Bullets officials George Innocent Kapachika and Ophman Kondowe challenged Mijiga’s claim that he was once a trustees of Big Bullets football club, saying it is not true he served as a trustee of the Bullets.
The two were being represented by Collins Chitsime who was standing in for Kondwani Jawati who was not present during the hearing.
Mijiga, a renowned marketer, inserted the claim in his profile to prove that he has been in association football for more than five years as demanded by FAM statutes.
The committee dismissed the application saying it lack basis and proper explanation on who are the trustees of the team and if they are registered trustee at the registrar general.
FAM goes to the polls on December 12 in Salima.
Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :