Azam Tigers coach Leo Mpulula on Monday burst into The Nation newspapers offices to protest over a column which criticized him.
Mulula demanding to see the journalist, Peter Kanjere, who had written a column namely ‘Sunday Shot’ of December 23, 2012 under the headline, ‘Leo; l don’t miss your voice.’, witnesses said.
The column appeared in Nation on Sunday which articulated a number of issues on Mpulula’s stand to give local media a blackout after a three-game losing streak.
Nyasa Times understands that highly emotion Mpulula demanded to meet the publication’s Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Alfred Ntonga before he was advised to meet the Sports Editor if he had any complaint from the sports reporter.
It is however, reported that Mpulula refused to meet the Sports Editor Michael M’meya alleging he doesn’t write good about him.
“He was then referred to meet the Managing Editor Edward Chitsulo. But on his way to the office he saw Kanjere before starting showering insults on him. Peter remained calm but Mpulula was coming towards him threatening to beat him. Lucky enough some staff members came to the rescue to ease tension,” said the witness.
The newspaper management called the Police, who came to scene of the saga forcing Mpulula to call his clubg manager Robin Alufandika as well.
After Alufandika’s arrival, they agreed to sort out the saga in a boardroom, where Mpulula was not co-operative until he was forced out leaving Alufandika and some top bosses at publication to end the squabbles amicably.
In the column Kanjere wrote: “It is now a month since Azam Tigers out-spoken Coach Leo Mpulula after a three game losing streak decided to exercise his right guarantee in the Malawi constitution to give the domestic media blackout, Since then, Leo has been sending my colleagues text messages saying he would lift the ban only after my apology for the remarks l made on Radio 2 FMs Mid Week sports programme recently that the Tigers coach should not talk too much.
“It was my opinion that, having resigned at Tigers only to change his mind on joining Civo United after listening to some radio debate, Leo needed to be more decisive and concentrate on winning his first ever Silver ware as Super League coach,” wrote Kanjere.
Kanjere went on to quote Mpulula’s text message which he sent him,
The column ends with, “Media blackouts have never been catalysts for Silverware.”
Sports Writers Association of Malawi (SWAM) has since issued a statement condemning in strongest terms the “deplorable conduct” of Mpulula.
SWAM’s Vice Secretary Chisomo Mwamadi, it warned Mpulula that they will not tolerate any individual or organisation that seeks to undermine the sports writers independence on matters of public interest.
“We are saddened with Leo Mpulula’s outbursts and confrontations on our member and we urge those with grievances to follow proper procedures and not resort to assault or harassing journalists,” reads the statement.
“SWAM alsourged sports authorities to “stop the continued hitches which fully accredited sports journalists continue face to access sports venues such as the Kamuzu Stadium.”
The organisation’s statement has come at time some sports journalists from The Nation newspaper, Malawi News Agency, Nyasa Times struggled to cover Big Bullets and Mafco game on Saturday, December 23, 2012 at Kamuzu Stadium.
Some gate men demanded the reporters to pay money despite presenting valid Identity Cards from SWAM, which were signed by Football Association of Malawi general secretary Sugzo Nyirenda and SULOM’s general secretary Williams Banda.
“This card provides access to all local and international Super League Club Matches in the 2012 season,” reads the ID’s. It had to take to Kamuzu Stadium manager Charles Mhango to demand the gatemen allow the journalists to be allowed an entry at the stadium to cover games.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :