Athletics Association of Malawi to screen delegates at polls

Athletics Association of Malawi (AAM) has set aside February 19, 2017 to hold elections for its executive committee in Salima but strangers will be barred from voting.

 AAM President Godfrey Phiri (right)
AAM President Godfrey Phiri (right)

The outgoing committee has disclosed that it will take a hardline on who will be allowed to take in the deliberations and elections unlike in the Annual General Meeting annulled by Malawi National Council of Sports following conspicuous Constitutional irregularities.

AAM President Godfrey Phiri with General Secretary Frank Chitembeya, Southern Region chairman Christopher Kabwazi and coach Francis Munthali addressed an impromptu news conference at Malawi National Council of Sports offices recently.

Chitembeya said what he termed ‘non-members’ that would not be allowed in the deliberations.

Stringent measures were also announced indicating that the association would register new clubs to take part in the deliberations with stringent conditions put in place.

Among others the clubs are supposed to pay K25,000 registration fee, K15,000 affiliation fee, have qualified coach who should pay K10,000 and attached to at least five athletes, have bank accounts.

Chitembeya said the requirement has been introduced in line with International Athletics Associations Federation (IAAF) statues.

“This is in line with the standard practices all over the world and this part of Africa,” Chitembeya said.

The association has also proposed for the introduction of participatory fees for athletes to enable them to compete.

However the proposals have been received with mixed reactions with former Vice General Secretary Mzee Makawa saying it could have negative implications on the already dwindling number of athletes participating in competitions.

“There’s nothing wrong with clubs paying affiliation fees, coaches attached to clubs and paying fees and athletes paying participation fees but this would boomerang as most clubs cannot afford to pay,” Makawa said.

“If athletes have been unwilling and reluctant to meet their transport and accommodation I don’t think this would be welcomed.”

Makawa, who is also a qualified coach, said there was no difference between registration fees and affiliation fees saying ‘It’s the same thing.”

He also regional and athletics sub-committees should also pay affiliation fees which should be even higher than grassroot clubs.

Veteran athlete Moses Kondowe, who is a coach and owns a club, said it was a good idea but not practical.

“I don’t think we can have clubs who will be able to meet most of the requrements because they are individually financed,” he said.

He also said the proposal was again a constitutional matter which could not just been introduced without having the input of affiliates.

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