Judge Chikopa resigns as FA Malawi’s Appeals Committee Chair over ‘flawed elections’

Football Association of Malawi (FAM) Appeals Committee chairperson, Supreme Court of Appeal Judge, Lovemore Chikopa has resigned from his position citing lack of good governance and for being bombarded with ‘a barrage of insults’ from the country’s soccer governing body, with immediate effect.

Justice Lovemore Chikopa: FAM elections were flawed

Justice Lovemore Chikopa: FAM elections were flawed

Justice Chikopa who as head of FAM’s Appeals Committee ruled that Saturday’s elections be postponed to another date after the other two contenders, Wilkins Mijiga and Willy Yabwanya complained to the Appeals Committee that there was a contravention of FAM statues and that FAM disobeyed the electoral codes.

The embattled presidential aspirants Wilkins Mijiga, Willy Yabwanya-Phiri and Tiya Somba-Banda, who contested for the vice presidency, obtained an injunction from the High Court in Blantyre restraining FAM and its delegates from holding the polls but the injunction was later vacated.

The elections which were, however, a far cry from football’s popular spirit of fair play as they were nearly marred by controversy that almost stopped them from taking place saw the incumbent MacMillan Walter Nyamilandu carry the day as he retained his seat after dramatically edging out his challengers to a pulp.

In his resignation, through email which Nyasa Times has seen and has been copied to two of his committee members, Justice Chikopa says that he could not continue offering his services as head of FAM’s Appeals Committee amid a barrage of insults.

“It is obvious to my mind firstly that my understanding of good governance and the operations of the appeals committee is not the same as that which the FAM executive committee or most of its members have. Secondly that there are some in the FAM executive committee who do not understand that it is possible to hold divergent views without having to indulge in gratuitous insults,” reads the email of resignation in part.

Chikopa said it is impossible for him to continue offering his services as chair of FAM’s appeals committee in those circumstances.

“Please accept my immediate resignation from the committee,” said Chikopa tendering his resignation. “I have copied this communication to the other two members of the committee.”

 ‘Judicial intervention’

In a dramatic turn of events, another committee member of the same Appeals Committee private practice lawyer Patrice Nkhono has also resigned saying FAM executive committee ignored his committee’s decision to defer the elections after it was ruled that FAM’s electoral codes were flouted.

“It is my understanding that the approach taken by FAM executive committee following the decision of the appeals committee on the elections last Saturday, was to ignore that decision and to proceed with the elections. Apparently, this was what compelled the appellants to seek judicial intervention,” reads Nkhono’s resignation email which was also copied to FAM’s Chief Executive and General Secretary Sugzo Nyirenda.

Nkhono further said in his resignation email that it is his view that such course of action represented repudiation by the FAM executive committee of the validity of the appeals committee of which he is a member.

“Although I have not heard the insults that my appeals committee chairman, Justice Chikopa, speaks of, I have not got the slightest doubt that such have been made. For me, however, the repudiation by FAM executive committee of the validity of the appeals committee represents a rejection of my membership on the appeals committee,” further reads the email.

Nkhono added explained he cannot continue with an organisation that does not respect its own statues, rules and regulations.

Said Nkhono: “I cannot in good conscience continue as though that repudiation meant nothing. I therefore join Justice Chikopa in tendering my resignation from the FAM appeals committee with immediate effect and request that this is brought to the attention of the executive committee.”

‘Flawed Elections’

Meanwhile, Yabwanya and Mijiga are seeking redress from the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) for intervention in Switzerland over what they call flawed Saturday’s elections that re-elected the country longest serving president, MacMillan Walter Nyamilandu.

Mijiga, who alongside Yabwanya on Friday successfully sought FAM Appeals Committee’s intervention stopping the elections only for Blantyre High Court to vacate the injunction on Saturday, yesterday claimed to have written to FAM Electoral Committee chairperson, High court Judge, Dingiswayo Madise, withdrawing their candidatures from the race.

“We did not want to be part of a flawed electoral process. The appeals’ committee said the elections had to be suspended until the irregularities were sorted out. The whole process contravened the rule of soccer, which is about fair play,” he explained.

“We are going to take this matter to the Court of Arbitration of Sport (CAS) in Zurich. We cannot allow a leadership that breaks its own laws by not respecting the decision of its own Appeals Committee. We believe the decision of the Appeals Committee was final.”

Mijiga was referring to Article 12 of FAM Electoral Code Sub-section Four, which states that “the decision of the electoral appeal ismmittee are final and may not be monitored by any government organ.”

Yabwanya in a separate interview confirmed to Nyasa Times that he alongside Mijiga are seeking CAS’s intervention, adding, “If FAM upheld the decision of the Appeals Committee that I should stand, what is different now with the latest decision to postpone the elections?”

However, Article 68 of FAM’s statutes states that “CAS shall not, however, hear appeals on violations of the Laws of the Game, suspensions of up to four matches or up to three months, or decisions passed by an independent and duly constituted Arbitration Tribunal of FAM.

Mijiga and Yabwanya sought the Appeal Committee’s intervention in respect of Article 13 of the code that “the final list of candidates shall be sent to all affiliates of the FAM general assembly and, where necessary, to the relevant government bodies no less than 15 days before the elective FAM general assembly is held.”

The voters’ roll was only released on Thursday just two days before the elections instead of at least a fortnight prior to the polls as stipulated in the FAM’s election codes.

 

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37 thoughts on “Judge Chikopa resigns as FA Malawi’s Appeals Committee Chair over ‘flawed elections’”

  1. Mangulenje says:

    Well done Lovie

  2. Tengupenya says:

    Ogooooo!

  3. Didier Drogba says:

    Most of those commenting on this issue are doing so out of pathetic ignorance.
    The old saying in the bible ” remove the log in your eye before you remove the spec in your brother’s eye ” is most appropriate in this case.
    The rules of FAM which were supposedly being upheld by Chikopa and Nkhono,clearly state that “appeals committee must have a QUORUM of three members , there were only two..
    Clearly Chikopa and his friend clearly violated the basic rules of FAM their decision was there invalid . As honourable gentlemen it is correct for them to go ,but it is not right to leave a stench and blame some body else when they are the ones who fouled the air.
    On a separate but related issue,
    Yabwanya and Mijiga are mere venders with no knowledge of footballing issues. If they had succeed in their campaign to unseat Nyamilandu ( whose major fault among his many faults,was to add MANDA to his name, thereby identifying him as one of those “scoundrels from up there) football would have taken the path that the Nation took when we said “Wakuba yemweyo” back in 1994.
    Walter has to go sooner than later, but replacing with the first vender that walks into the ring might take our football 30 years back.

  4. mapwevupwevu says:

    One ndisaname this Walter Nyamilandu guy ndi munthu woipa!

    He and his 27 pipo are happy at the expense of more than 17 million Malawians!

    Walter chikubwelere chomwe chikukutsatacho!

  5. Toshi says:

    water manyazi ulibe ? mtima ngati wa petr bwanji?

  6. Pamajiga says:

    Musamangopupuluma kulemba or kunyoza munthu apa. Akuluwa ndi manyazi sichina ayi. Adya zambiri za Mijiga. Ma phone nkati…..I have evidence.
    Manyazi mulibe a Chikopa…?
    Chikhalirecho mumati ndinu a Christu mumapemphera koma ziphuphu tho!
    SHAME!

  7. I have great respect for His Lordship Lovemore Chikopa and his decision speaks volumes of his integrity and how he feels the elections were far from being free and fair.Walter the writing is clear on the wall, it is time to pack up and go if you want respect from fooball loving Malawians. What is it that you are hiding and making you insist to stay on?? I had great respect for you but after these flawed elections though you have won your credebility rating has gone to the dogs. Wish you a bumpy and hectic fourth term and believe you will run as FAM’s life President just like your FIFA mentor.

  8. Hens master says:

    Well done learned colleagues. You made the right guidance only to be ignored by greedy football mismanagers

  9. Hansou says:

    Walter, you take a thrown by the bullet, you get ousted by the bullet.

    It seems you are going down 1 way or another

  10. Nankununkha sadzimva says:

    Malawi anabvunda basi kulikonse chivundi basi!

  11. guta says:

    Very corrupt FAM! I have stopped attending soccer matches. Walter should resign and Mwenda shud take over

  12. phiri says:

    ndezokhazokha zachithyolozo water water mpakana liti kulibe ena oziwa zampira moreover alibenso ma idears mpira ungolowa pansi.anali kuti nthawi yonseyi and mzeru zotukulira mpira azitenganso kuti this guy is saturated needs to be sucked pabwere ena ndimzeru zanyuwani basi otherwise bola

  13. che Shaibu says:

    Paja Walter Nyamilandu ali ndi magazi a Chilomwe okonda kuba.
    Palibe chodabwitsa kuti zidatere

  14. busy signal says:

    Kkkkkkk this is becoming interesting. U fools who di u think ur to stop elections. The people have spoken and defeated ur weak candidates. Did u think simply ur a judge and everyone will bow to u miscreants. We have Justice Kenyatta Nyirenda who does not believe in ur thoughts the same way we destroyed Chakwera in May 2014. Viva Kenyatta Nyirenda

  15. guta says:

    He should resign for people to have trust with FAM

  16. jimmy says:

    Mwazionatu Walter amapemphera Ms lawyer. Awa they thought a heavily partisan against Walter would propel them into th seat.Uku ndiye kugwa chagada. This is pure white wash and stop barking. Uchindami akuti chiyani ? Anthu achite Shintom national games chifukwa wina waluz. This is disgrace.

  17. DZIKANYANGA says:

    Madzi ukufuna udzafele pampando?????? Sankha wekha ifa or moyo.

  18. mabulala boyz says:

    Thumbs up learned people we need such people in our society.

  19. Malawian!!! says:

    Lets remember the secrete discussion at Salima Sun Bird in Room No……… “I will bribe the elections team with K300,000. 00 each” lol! It’s just the beginning of the storm. Watch nyasatimes!

  20. Nedi K. says:

    What is happening to Sepp Blatter now? People fail to read between the lines. We call that the Signs of the Times. Only time tells… The truth always shall stand the test of time. Even if Walter be obsessed with power hungry “energy” time shall come when all the energy goes out and you are left there out… a nobody. Enafe ndiye ndife atidye nawo basi. Kunsunsa paliponse basi. Ku ndale kunsunsa, ku mpira kunsunsa. Eee! Dyera ndi Umphwawi. A Walter, tayani zimenezo and concentrate on building yourself. IT IS ALL ABOUT TIME, TIME and TIME

  21. At least some people in my country have clean sanity and behave honourably such as resigning.Why should Walter cling to the chair for another four years when nothing tangible in the footbal arean has improved?

  22. magufuli says:

    Walter is in trouble.

  23. Makonokaya says:

    Walter my boss, are you hiding something?

  24. The Most Concerned says:

    Bola Walter wadutsabe basi.

  25. onyonyo says:

    If FAM statutes were indeed flouted then we have a serious issue here,rules of natural justice calls for fair trial and right to be heard.

  26. Milward Malidadi says:

    Ooops!!!! I am just thinking aloud. If all the office holders were to be resigning with every whim of insults leveled against them , how many public officers would we have? None!! Hon Justice, those are the joys of public offices in a democracy. With lots of freedoms around, some are keen to exercise their “freedom of insult”.

    By the way, isn’t it the case that the decision of the Appeals Committee was nullified because of lack of quorum? That is the work of the law taking its course.
    You overturned Justice Madise’s ruling on the eligibility of Yabwanya to contest but he did not resign. That is what is expected of you learned man of Law. It is called maturity. You win some you lose some!!

  27. Vikunowa says:

    Let them resign. Its better for Walter to Govern in still waters. These legal people are the main cause of trouble in this country. Sail Water Sail, we are sorely be4hind you. Wawina wawina basi – nyonyonyo wa agale enawa agwanayo. In any competition, what is key is a very good tactic and infact a strategy. AIFUNSE MCP!!!!! ili kuti?

  28. Wadyera says:

    Hey gentlemen what is there at FAM for people to be fighting like this? Now it shows that people are going there not to help the development of soccer but for their pockets right? IF it was serving people, I do not think people would be spending their time and resources like this. Kani mpandowu ndi ononona eti? Bakanganani mutiuza!

  29. Uchindami says:

    Judge Chikopa and Mr Nkhono have done an honourable thing by resigning. Walter went to great lengths to have the sham elections go ahead because the whole process was already ‘choreographed and staged’. Any delay would have brought unpalatable results. It is quite clear his new mandate will face numerous hurdles because he won after deploying dirty tactics. That victory is a source of trouble Sir!

    Come March 2016, Malawi will play Guinea in a double header. Expect Malawians to be cheering on visiting national teams as an expression of displeasure with the current leadership.

    Another way is by shunning national games. Stay at home and do other productive things. Anthu ndi okwiya bwana! You won because of a meagre 27 people who regard themselves as people’s representatives. They are not! If your candidature were to be a referendum, I’m quite sure the NOs would be resounding! But since the rotten system we have allows a cabal of compromised 36 affiliates, that’s why you secured the so-called victory! Thumbs up to Judge Chikopa and Mr Nkhono for walking out on the so-called Appeals Committee. Ni mathipa agha!

  30. Jaicah Mwaya says:

    Its too Political if we can take note of it!! How come two judges to be resigned at the same time. Anthuwa ndi ochenjera akudziwa pomwe panapindika mchira wanyani. Tiyenazoni a Malawi paja ndikhalidwe lanu mumafuna kukalambira pompo pa Ntchito. Dziwani kuti Mpando sibwino kuchita ogula lets pipo vote for you wisely!!!!!!!

  31. [email protected] says:

    God have mercy, what I know is 12 years its enough amayenera kupereka mwayi kwa amzake kuti nawo agwireko ntchitoyi

  32. SONG says:

    Walter Nyamilandu Manda Katundu. To stand for 4 terms is not easy he has good administration.

  33. Bwino says:

    This is how honourable people lose their honour and credibility…Walter is messing up big time!

  34. Eye Witness says:

    Walter is crooked. He is in deep trouble. He is going to walk alone in turbulent waters.

  35. Mzozo kununkha says:

    If judge chikopa and Mr Nkhono’s decisions are for me to go by, then the revelation is clear here that the incumbent sold us a dummy. Time as a master tells it all. when you have done your part its good to let others play the dice.

    This clearly shows that not only the ruling was passed but also advice was given but Team water chose to close their eyes and turned a deaf ear to the pro’s advice. ever heard of Blatter? hope you do. why cant history teach a lesson.

    Mr president big things are coming this is just dawn, I cant just wait to congratulate you its not easy to win even though other contestants withdrew from the race.The cake on the table is for you take it arrogant man. hard luck, be strong your are a man. I rest my case.

  36. Akatswiri says:

    Shsaa

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