It never rains but pours for Malawi. In an unbelievable situation and not atypical from a movie set up the Malawi delegation at the 10th Maputo All Africa games in Mozambique was on Friday chased away by the organisers for wanting to ‘gate crash’, Nyasa Times has details.
The Malawi team left for Maputo, Mozambique on Tuesday in two groups with the other going by road while some few members flew. The games kicked off on Sunday, September 3 and will run up to September 18th at Maputo’s Zimpeto Stadium.
While Malawi National Council of Sports (MNCS) Executive Secretary George Jana feigned ignorance on the circumstance that led to the sad development by referring Nyasa Times to ministry of sports officials, a source at the Malawi Olympic Committee (MOC) confidently told Nyasa Timesthe delegation was on its way back home.
“As we are speaking, the team is travelling back home and we should expect it in the country on Monday morning,” assured the MOC source on Sunday evening.
He said the Malawi teams were barred from participating in the games after it was discovered that they did not pay affiliation and contribution fees to Zone Six, organisers of the games.
The source said Malawi owes Zone Six about US$ 63 000 in affiliation and contribution fee.
“Apart from that the team was to pay 40 US$ and 50US$ for every player and official respectively for the period they were to be there. The amount is about 8000 US$ which was also not paid,” explained our source.
However, before the delegation’s departure, local published reports indicated that authorities had already paid the money to the organisers.
As if the shameful development is not enough, Nyasa Times sources revealed that since the team’s arrival in Maputo, it was sleeping in bus which they used because organisers refused to give them accommodation.
“They could not be allocated accommodation without paying the money so they spent three days in a bus which they used, it has been a sad experience for them,” bemoaned the source.
Malawi sent to Maputo only three sports disciplines of taekwondo, swimming and athletics. About 6500 athletes are expected to compete in the games.
And Malawi almost failed to send the athletes to the Portuguese speaking nation because of forex problems. The team that travelled was self-sponsored.
The Malawi Aquatic Union (MAU) President Dean Pinto sponsored his daughter Zara to fly together with few self-sponsored athletes and apart from sponsoring few other athletes, the Malawi Olympic Committee also offered a coaster which the delegation used to travel to Mozambique.
On Tuesday, the Malawi delegation was detained for three hours because the athletes’ passport did not indicate that they had money with them.
Daily Times sports journalist Patrick Lunda, who is with the team, said they were detained by Mozambican authorities in Tete Province.
“The authorities had to seek the intervention of Malawi Embassy in Mozambique for the team to be released,” Lunda, a sub editor, told his paper.
The Games were officially inaugurated on Saturday night at Mozambique’s national stadium, in the Maputo suburb of Zimpeto
Mozambique President Armando Guebuza welcomed the visitors to the “Pearl of the Indian Ocean” and, without warning, fireworks erupted around the stadium signalling the start of the choreographed show.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :