Southern Region Volleyball League under fire for outliving its 4-year mandate

After attracting heavy criticism and condemnation for outliving its 4-year mandate and for not having strategic planning meetings for five years as an Executive Committee, Southern Region Volleyball League (SRVL) finally met on Tuesday and has decided to hold elections on June 30.

Mikundi, outgoing SRVL vice-chairman
Volleyball action

The league’s vice-chairman, Charles Mikundi, while admitting that indeed this was their first Ex-Co meeting in five years, said the major problem was communication breakdown within the SRVL and also the relocation from Blantyre to Lilongwe of thèir otherwise vibrant chairman, Pacharo Ngwira, contributed to it.

“I think it’s just misunderstanding [because] when the term comes to an end, it doesn’t mean that the committee cannot function. It does until the another elections are called.

“The same committee successfully conducted the Valley Tournament towards the end of last year though it was after expiry of its term. However, we met today to plan for elections so we can put in a new committee.

“Tentatively, as an outgoing committee we have set June 30, 2019 as the date for elections to give members enough time to prepare and also we have set May 25, 2019 as a date for us to meet all stakeholders and teams to inform them and also for them to have their voice on the issue

“As I said before, the problem was communication breakdown within the committee,” Mikundi said.

The development has pleased the national volleyball body, VAM and are reported to be hopeful that this is a great step for SRVL to regain its lost glory.

A concerned stakeholder said: “The SRVL move for a meeting is good. They need to elect the new committee and focus on developing our lovely sport from grass roots to elite level.

“We know SRVL as a pioneer towards volleyball development for all ages. In the past they used to have many sponsors with a lot of activities. We are very optimistic to see that old glory back.

SRVL has enjoyed sponsorship from Old Mutual (last won by Thunders), Kameko Technologies (last won by Thunders), DSPV Chemicals and Equipment Supplies (last won by Chancellor College Super). It also had what was known as Circulation Volleyball initiative, which aimed at introducing volleyball to Under 15 school youths with funding from Dutch national, Tonni Epping.

One other member, Blessings Mtuwa-Nkhata, who plays for Gemz, said despite everything, SRVL has to be appreciated for some of its development programmes, saying he expects the next committee to be more responsive to the growing needs of the sport and create a a favourable and enabling platform for all stakeholders in SRVL to play a part.

“As an interested stakeholder, my desire is to see the committee rise above petty issues of individualism, name calling and blame game to leverage skills, resources and untapped potential even beyond the commmittee. Our statutes governing the game should be respected if at all we are to regain trust from investors/sponsors.

“My general expectation, therefore, is for people to look beyond themselves and their differences. The game is certainly bigger than any personalities combined. Therefore the onus is on all of us to rebuild.”

On the other hand, Poly Aces captain, Temwani Kaponda said she is looking forwars to the elwctions and expects SRVL to be organising more activities.

“SRVL must organise more activities that are just mind blowing — motivational activities like technical trainings, tournaments even with just medals as prizes. Sometimes it’s the little things that matter. And for the expected elections, I hope we will put people in power who are worth it,” Kaponda said.

Speaking for Lower Shire teams, disappointed Hudson Kafunda said. “We do not see SRVL Committee as helpful. We do not trust the current committee at all. SRVL is only for Blantyre teams. We have our own committee here.”

On the expected SRVL elections, Kafumba said he expected all stakeholders to vote in administrators with passion for the sport.

“We need people we can trust. People who love the sport and not positions. People who can realise that volleyball is played everywhere in Malawi,” Kafunda said.

He claims that the Lower Shire has 12 clubs, (10 for men and two for women) and three secondary schools teams.

However, Mikundi denied the allegation made by Kafumba that SRVL favours just Blantyre teams, saying: “There is no favouritism in SRVL. The truth is we had no information that there are teams in Lower Shire until late last year after we visited the area during the organisation of the Valley sponsorship.

“So to say we favour Blantyre teams is not true. And alao we did not sanction any committee to be formed within SRVL as said that the Lower Shire has its own committee and am not sure if they are recognised by VAM either,” Mikundi said.

The outgoing SRVL committee has Pacharo Ngwira as chairman, Mikundi as the deputy, Martin Hausi as general secretary, Sckenar Gwaza as deputy GS, Capt. Clifford Chirwa as treasurer and ordinary members Edna Gondwe, Ian Litta, Wezi Mwafulirwa, David Saukila and Khuma Kauwa.

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