FA Malawi elections face court injunction

Stakeholders in Malawi football have gone to court to apply for an ex-parte injunction to stop the elections of Football Association of Malawi (FAM) president following concerns that there is lack of level playing field and corruption allegations.

The FAM’s presidency scheduled for Saturday in Salima is a two-horse race between the incumbent president Walter Nyamilandu and former Super League of Malawi president Dr Henry ‘Kaka’ Chibowa who both have promised to transform the game of football in the country.

‘Team Chibowa’ claims there is “attempted moral deterioration or ploy that encourages use of corrupt practices for rigging such as bribery or fraud aimed at undermining good governance.”

Chibowa: Call for level playing field

They accuse the incumbent FAM president of failing to produce names of affiliates who will vote during elections.

“There is need for intervention as it promotes selfishness amongst individuals. Allegations are rife on changing delegates for voting which entails not free and fair elections if left unchecked,” the ‘Team Chibowa’ says.

Injunction

They want court intervention, explaining that obtaining a court injunction “is a judicial process restraining or stopping a person or a group of people from proceeding with the action.

“In the electoral process if a party or candidate feels injustice has been done, the aggrieved party obtains a court injunction to enable the judiciary to review the alleged injustice through a court of law. This is a last resort that we may be forced to undertake in the event this is not redressed.”

They claim “the will of the people as expressed in genuine, democratic free and fair elections is the basis of authority of any democratic institution to which I believe FAM subscribes to in accordance with Article 17 of FIFA Statutes which guarantees the aforementioned.

“The authority cannot be established unless voters in this case nominated delegates to the AGM representing their Affiliates make a free and informed choice among FAM contestants.”

Nyamilandu has since instructed  lawyer Wapona Kita to file an  ‘opposed ex parte injunction’.

Accreditation

FAM has been asked to make urgent and immediate redress on accreditation, saying official recognition of an organization or individual by the Electoral Authority (Returning Officer – National Council of Sports) is based on fulfilment of specific criteria, which denotes approval of their status as affiliates of FAM referred to as the FAM electorate including monitors or observers.

Nyamilandu: Seeking third term

“This part therefore cannot be handled by the FAM Secretariat as is the case now. Reason: the secretariat is working under the direct authority of people who are interested parties in the forthcoming polls i.e. FAM President.”

“As such the Secretariat would find it difficult to remain neutral. Our call is that the Returning Officer should take over this role.”

It is reported that the list of delegates as submitted by affiliates by 25th November 2011 not accessible to FAM President’s challenger Chibowa as those other candidates deemed not in the camp of the incumbent leadership.

FAM has still not developed a system that guarantees a set of specific within affiliates who should be attending the AGM. Currently there are very squabbles within the affiliate bodies of FAM about who should attend this Saturday’s AGM that will also include on its agenda Election of Executive Committee members of the Football Association.

Stakeholder feel the purpose for leaving such a loop hole in the system, is “to manipulate the outcome of the elections by carefully choosing delegates from the affiliate bodies who are in the armpit of the incumbent.”

FIFA statutes and practice clearly stipulate who should attend its AGM/Congress are; President, General Secretary and any other appointed member of the Executive Committee of FIFA’s affiliates.

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