As the count down to the December elections at the Football Association of Malawi (FAM) continues, the incumbent first vice president, James Mwenda, has come out of his cocoon to publicly declare that he will contest as Ppesident of the association against the current president, Walter Nyamilandu Manda.
Mwenda was addressing sports journalists in Lilongwe on Sunday morning and explained that he has arrived at the decision after thorough consultations with football stakeholders including FAM affiliates.
“I called for this press conference to inform Malawians that I have decided to contest as FAM president this December. Let me point out here that I am not siding with any candidate. I am contesting as an individual.
“I will work with all the members that will be elected by the affiliates of FAM and I am ready to work with all the members that will be elected,” explained Mwenda.
Another individual who expressed interest to contest for the hot seat at FAM two months ago is Chairperson for Karonga United, Alufeyo Chipanga Banda.
As the current president, Walter Macmillan Nyamilandu Manda, seeks to retain his position in the December elections, reports indicate that he has teamed up with Jabaar Alide as his first vice.
But Alide denied teaming up with anybody as the campaign hots up.
“Nyamilandu and I have always been friends. I have also supported James Mwenda as Vice President when the President is away,” remarked Alide.
Taking his turn, the incumbent Second Vice President, Othaniell Hara, said much as there have been camps in the previous elections, the situation is quite different this year.
“In the past there have been camps but it is different this time around. I personally do not belong to any camp. I am working alone reminding people how I have served them as FAM Second Vice President. Voters will vote by looking at the capabilities of candidates as it seems to be a family affair,” explained Hara.
Northern Region Football Association Chairperson, Lameck Khonje, has expressed interest to challenge Hara on the position of Second Vice President saying the football governing body needs new blood.
Other observers in the northern region have said Khonje is too ambitious to jump into the second vice presidency instead of starting with an executive member position.
Others have said this may not be the right time for Khonje as he is coming from an association which is encountering a number of problems in terms of management while others have wished him well.
At the Airtel Top 8 Cup finals in Lilongwe recently, a section of football fans were seen wearing T-Shirts written “Walter Must Fall!”, arguing he has done enough and needs to pave way for others.
Meanwhile, Nyamilandu has said on Mwenda’s decision that he saw it coming.
“I am not surprised because he has been positioning himself for that for a long time,” said Nyamilandu.
Nyamilandu however said he is not moved by Mwenda.
But football analysts and for FAM secretary general Charles Nyirenda said Mwenda’s decision to contest should be a wake-up call for Nyamilandu to step aside in December.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :