Malawi Queens stay-away star Mwai Kumwenda has been vindicated in her protest against “oppression” of Rose Chinunda led Netball Association of Malawi (NAM) as goal-shooter Linda Magombo-Munthali has added her voice to reveal how players are suffering in silence.
Kumwenda, raised the issue defiantly when snubbed the national duty after claiming that it “pains” her that players are “suffering in silence for fear of being dropped from the squad.”
Meanwhile, it has emerged that NAM has created a system that cracks down on players who speak out; taking advantage of their desperation for national team call-ups that earn better at around K2 000 daily training allowance and for $50 (K24 000) daily foreign trip stipend compared to K50 000 ($100) monthly perks for clubs.
“The players have no other source of income, so they opt to suffer in silence fearing they will be dropped. When called up for the 2013 Africa Netball Championship, I told NAM that I first needed my 2010 New Delhi Commonwealth Games dues. I wrote the former Sports minister, Sports Council and the Malawi Olympic Committee (MOC) on the same, but no one responded. I have never been called up again,” said Munthali as quoted by The Nation newspaper.
The paper which has carried fresh revealations quoted Munthali saying NAM official can even impose players on coaches “that is why they cannot hire someone like Peace [Chawinga Kalua] who stands her ground.”
“Players have nowhere to complain. Linda [Magombo] was dropped for fighting for the others and now it is Mwawi. The association puts its senior officials as team managers, who instead of relaying issues of players concerns, gag them right in camp. They are like spies as they report players as being trouble-makers,” the paper attributed this quote to unnamed senior player.
Chinunda has since shot down the claims, saying players “are at liberty to, as long as they have facts, even talk to reporters.”
It has been clear from recent games that Malawi Queens – world’s fifth-best netball team – is losing its spark.
The Queens are officially the most successful sporting team Malawi has ever produced.