Mighty Wanderers want Thom Mpinganjira to take over ownership of Wanderers FC

One of Malawi’s most successful business mogul, Thom Mpinganjira — who unfortunately is in prison having been convicted of corruption charges — is being asked by some supporters, who have publicly appeared as concerned stakeholders of Mighty Wanderers Football Club supporters to take over ownership of Wanderers Limited Company.

Mpinganjira was appointed as president of Wanderers Football Club 2021 Limited in July last year before his conviction of corruption charges that led to his conviction and imprisonment, where he continues to financially assist the team.

A statement we have seen from concerned citizens of Mighty Wanderers Football Club supporters from C/O Box 137, Nchalo, Chikhwawa, addressed to Mpinganjira, P.O. Box 5720, Limbe, says following poor performance of Mighty Wanderers FC in the last 2-3 seasons, they — as bona-fide supporters — “came together to discuss and have an in-depth assessment as regards to the causative factors for our Club’s poor run of results and offer recommendations on the same”.

The concerned supporters say they held a first virtual engagement on December 7, 2021 where “one of the key outcomes was the election of an interim taskforce that would lead the process of looking at the existing gaps in the club and offer recommendations”.

The statement said a second meeting was held physically on December 19 at Chichiri Primary School in Blantyre City where, having thoroughly looked into the issues affecting the club, they established that their technical panel “has exhibited gross levels of incompetence as evidenced by the team’s poor results including two trophyless seasons as a key indicator”.

The concerned fans also maintain that there is “lack of seriousness and commitment on the part of some players” and that the limited company’s Board “is bloated which at times might be fuelling in-fighting within”.

They also alleged that there is “abuse of gate collections for the benefit of few individuals” — thus recommending they make Mpinganjira “the sole owner of Mighty Wanderers 2021 Limited” by giving him “majority shares of the Company”.

“We propose that one way of making you majority shareholder would be to have you, your son or your trust buy the shares,” says the statement.

“We hope this decision will help curb the alleged bickering within the Board and will empower you to appoint your team that you believe will work in your best interest and in the interest of the Company.

“We have hope that you can steer the Wanderers ship to the desired ends as already evidenced by the unwavering financial and leadership support you have provided this far.”

The concerned supporters suggest that if Mpinganjira accepts to take complete ownership then he should “fire the entire technical panel and replace it with a competent one with an experienced, disciplined and older coach who can be respected by all the players”.

He is also being asked to review the team’s “administrative office to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of its functions for the betterment of the club” and to expedite recruitment process of players through conducting trials for both old and new players”.

The supporters propose for the reducing in the number of directors from 24 to 10 and to outsource management of gate collections.

In return, the supporters pledge to play the role of lobbying with other directors within the board to pass a resolution that will make Mpinganira the majority shareholder of the Company’s shares.

They also pledge to “add voice to calls towards actualization of the recommendations through press briefing and other social media platforms and scout potential players and technical panel members and recommend to the Club”.

The supporters shall provide support such as shelter to players undergoing trials at the Club and provide a road-map to the challenge of gate management during the club’s games.

The concerned supporters says they are cognizant of the fact that their committee executive — led by directors Mervin Nkunika and Samuel Mponda — already wrote Mpinganira regarding their wish to let him own the Club.

“In line with this background, our taskforce met with the aforementioned Directors on 27th December, 2021 in Limbe to present our recommendations and seek their blessing.

“We are glad to let you know, sir, that the Supporters Committee is aware of our move and have endorsed our resolutions hence with.

“We are also copying this letter to the Supporters Committee and the Board Secretary for their attention. Additionally, we are attaching a list of taskforce members and signatures collected from concerned members across the country,” says the petition from concerned supporters, Wonderful Mgwalangwa as chairperson and Innocent James as secretary.

When he was officially unveiled as president of Wanderers Football Club 2021 Limited in July last year, Mpinganjira announced that the football team would be a subsidiary of other money-making business ventures the company is eyeing to pursue.

He had said the company is set to rope in multiple sponsors and not just be branded by a particular corporate sponsor as was the case in the past when the team trended as Yamaha Wanderers to MTL to Be Forward.

Before his appointment, Mpinganjira financially bailed out the team by paying the players’ salary arrears from his personal pocket and though he is incarcerated, he still is financially supporting the team.

Wanderers had been struggling financially after the withdrawal of sponsorship from Japanese second car dealers, Be Forward which made Mpinganjira to come forward and assist paying for the players’ salaries.

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