Netball Association of Malawi (Nam) president Khungekile Matiya has described as cheap propaganda on the negative perception of the Malawi Queens’ participation at the 2019 Vitality World Netball Cup that allege that the players’ upkeep allowance is a pittance.
A social media appeal, supposedly and negatively being made by Malawians living in the UK, allege that the players’ allowances are such a pittance that they can’t even afford the luxury of buying ice cream for themselves whilst on break at the World Cup.
Forwarded elsewhere onto her Facebook page by Malawian living there, Mehrunissa Montersino, the post says: “Those who met or spoke to them know that our girls will just be wishing for ice cream in town and will not be affording it ndi kutenthaku. Akuchita kumvetsa chisoni.
“Let us do one/one pano to give them something at least, even if they get a tenner each akagule tizinthu ku ma Car Boot or Home Bargain/Poundland.”
But Matiya, who is in UK where she attending a Congress of the world netball governing body, told Nyasa Times that this is not true and that they have taken up the matter with the authorities there to stop the ill-intentioned Malawians from taking the initiative further.
“We have taken up the issue with the authorities here to tell them of our disappointment on this matter,” Matiya said after been approached by Nyasa Times.
“They should stop the cheap political propaganda. We don’t need their money. If they want to help the Queens, let them do this in a goodwill manner not the way they are doing it.
“The government gave us enough money for the girls’ upkeep and allowances and we are very grateful. People should not use us to gain political mileage,” Matiya pleaded.
The Malawians being mentioned in the post as part of this fundraiser include Laura Bertha Mndolo, Charity Njewa Saiwala, Suzanna Msonthi, Msatida and Alice Kalebe Chimuzu, who went on to allege that the players have brought with them zitenje (wrappers) that they intend to sell at £5 per metre.
“Please let us buy to support them. You could actually give it as a gift kwa azungu athuwa kuno or even frame it,” said the fund raiser, who is yet to be identified.
The Queens are now in Liverpool for the World Netball Cup after a series of strength-testing matches in Manchester and Cardiff. They lost 44-57 to England in Manchester last week and finished second behind Wales in the Quad Series in Cardiff.
They also lost by five baskets (47-52) to Wales and won 53-37 against Northern Ireland and 53-52 against Trinidad and Tobago.
In an earlier interview with Nyasa Times, team manager Jane Kachali Saidi, had said the strength testing matches will help the technical panel headed by Griffin Zagallo Sayenda to polish up the team.