Malawi Olympics scandal: Chapasa expelled

In a rather bizarre development, Malawi Olympic Committee (Moc) has expelled its vice secretary general Haxson Chapasa from its executive board for allegedly undermining the authority of the board and its organs.

Chapasa was suspended from the Moc board on December 15 last year for allegedly leaking confidential information, spreading false information, backbiting and creating divisions amongst members of the Moc board.

Amongst others, Chapasa was accused of leaking information about the much talked about Olympi-africa project to the Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB), Sports Ministry and Sports Council. He was also accused of questioning the arrangement of pre-signing cheques in Moc.

Hellen Mpinganjira: Accused of pre-signing blank cheques

In the suspension letter signed by secretary general Hellen Mpinganjira, which Nyasa Times obtained, the Olympic body advised Chapasa not to discuss any issues relating to his suspension with the media or junior staff at Moc.

After getting the suspension letter, Chapasa wrote the International Olympic Committee (IOC) through the body’s department of national Olympic committee relations. He also wrote affiliates of the Moc, asking them to review the issue of his suspension during the body’s 2012 annual general meeting.

In his letter to the affiliates, which Nyasa Times also has, Chapasa reiterated his stand against the system of pre-signing cheques.

According to Chapasa, Moc secretary general Helene Mpinganjira had pre-signed blank cheques, which treasurer general Jappie Mhango could just counter-sign and withdraw from the bank.

Chapasa challenged that it were only affiliates, who had powers to suspend a board member through an AGM and not the board or its organs.

The decision to suspend Chapasa followed a recommendation from the body’s judicial commission headed by Senior Chief Kaomba, which reportedly found the member guilty of the allegations levelled against him.

When Moc held its AGM in April this year, only associations that have been benefiting from the body were invited. Those associations that are not on the Olympic programme and do not benefit much from Moc were left out in the cold. None of the members present during the AGM raised Chapasa’s issue.

Came last week, Moc wrote Chapasa advising him that he had been totally expelled from the board for disregarding the board’s directive.

His suspension letter, which is dated June 6 and also signed by Mpinganjira reads in part: “You may wish to be reminded that the suspension letter warned you against discussing the issue of your
suspension with other parties but on your own volition, you decided to disregard this and wrote Olympic Solidarity, Sports Council and sports associations.

“Your letters clearly undermined and ridiculed the board and its organs, especially the judicial commission. In view of the above and considering that you have refused to reform, we hereby regrettably expel you from the Moc board with immediate effect.

“You are ordered to surrender all property in your possession belonging to Moc. Should you not comply with this order, Moc reserves the right to invoke legal tools under its charge,” says the letter.

Chapasa acknowledged receipt of the expulsion letter describing the whole process followed by Moc as flawed. He challenged it were only the affiliates who elected him by the ballot that had powers to expel him from the board and not people with personal grudges against him.

The official, who was Chief-De-Mission for Malawi during the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games, said he was consulting his advisors before taking his next course of action.

ACB has been investigating the local Olympic body on alleged mismanagement of funds for the Olympi-africa project, which has not been progressing from years despite government and the Olympi-africa Foundation pumping in millions of money.

More about the dirt in Moc to be exposed by Nyasa Times soon.

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