Mwandira bounces back in FAM executive

The newly elected Football Association of Malawi (FAM) Executive Committee has unanimously agreed to bring back former female member Flora Mwandira into the fold.

The new executive co-opted Mwandira into the team during their first meeting, which lasted for about nine hours, held Saturday at Chiwembe Technical Centre in Blantyre.

FAM Chief Executive Officer Suzgo Nyirenda confirmed the development saying the committee co-opted Mwandira into the team as per the body’s statutes.

Mwandira: Back in FAM fold

Mwandira has served FAM as an executive member for two terms. She was first elected into the association in 2004 and got re-elected in 2007.

FAM constitution stipulates that its executive committee must at least have one female member but the new committee which was ushered into office on December 17 last year in Salima had no female representation.

The only lady who competed for an executive member post was National Women Football Committee president Suzgo Ngwira who failed to grab a seat after losing miserably by 37 to 8 votes to Paul Mzungu after a tie during the polls.

And in such circumstance, the constitution further empowers the executive committee of the national football governing body to co-opt any female member.

But during their meeting, the members recognized the contributions made by Mwandira during her spell at FAM and to the game of football in the country as a whole hence her incorporation.

The new executive committee has Walter Nyamilandu who retained his post as president after beating Henry ‘Kaka’ Chibowa with Moses Mkandawire and Pikawo Ngalamira as first and second vice presidents respectively and David Dube, James Mwenda, Jabber Alide, Alexander Waya, Orthaniel Hara and Paul Mzungu as members.

“There were a number of names [for cooption] that were put forward, the members debated and eventually settled for Mrs. Mwandira who was also in the previous executive committee,” Nyirenda said.

Mwandira delight

In an interview with Nyasa Times on Sunday evening, Mwandira expressed gratitude to the new executive committee for having confidence in her competence.

“I am happy that I have been considered to serve FAM once more. I thank God that the skills He gave me are being recognized by people. This is a manifestation of my hard work and contribution towards the development of football in the country,” said Mwandira, who is also vice president and national course director for the Malawi Olympic Committee (MOC).

She added: “Some people may not have heard much from me that was because I was not a spokesperson for FAM or the women other people did the talking for me. I need not to blow my own trumpet but I am sure my contribution, particularly to women football, has to some degree made a difference and I believe that is why the executive members felt I have to continue with them.”

And indeed no one can talk of women football in the country without her name being mentioned. Together with Emmie Mphande, Charles Nyirenda (former CEO of FAM), late sports journalist Chimwemwe Festino and David Dube, newly elected FAM executive member and also owner of Lilongwe based top girls’ football team, DD Sunshine, pioneered the game in Malawi.

Mwandira went on to become the treasurer of the country’s first Women’s Football Committee (Blantyre Women’s Football Committee), general secretary of the first National Women’s Football Committee before becoming the chairperson for the country’s second National Women’s Football Committee. In 2004, she became the first elected female FAM executive member.

During the December 17, 2011 elections Mwandira did not stand after the National Women’s Football Committee nominated Ngwira who went on to lose the ticket.

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