Volleyball Association of Malawi (VAM) has depleted all its 2018/2019 annual subvention it receives from the Government, through Malawi National Council of Sports and a good chunk of the reserves they had went towards payment for sitting allowance for a training that took place in Mozambique.
The association’s treasurer, Florence Nthakomwa confirmed the development, saying they drew MK1.9 million from Sports Council to be used as allowances for the group that travelled to Maputo, Mozambique early December last year for para volley (sitting volleyball) course as well as to fund its vice-president James Kaunda travel costs to Cancun, Mexico mid November, 2018 for 36th Federation International Volleyball (FIVB) World Congress.
It is reported that the vice-president drew about K365,000 (US$500.00) from Sports Council and that from the K1.9 million they got from Council, each participant who attended the sitting volleyball course got about K236 000 as allowance.
“This means that if you multiply MK236,000 by the eight participants, VAM spent invested about MK1.888 million just for the para volley training in Maputo,” Nthakomwa said. “Currently, we are yet to see the benefits of such investment.
One of the participants, Ambilike Mwangulu confirmed receiving the allowance.
“Yes, we got the money from VAM. Our travel cost was refunded by the organisers in Mozambique. VAM paid our allowances back home after we returned from Mozambique.
“Of course, they were supposed to give us before we left for Maputo. The total amount we got for eight people must be close to MK2 million,” he declared.
The Malawi delegation in Mozambique for the sitting volleyball course comprised Fredson Gonela, Emily Anita ‘Jah Lady’ Hara, Harry Kholowa, Chimwemwe Patricia Msowoya, Ambilike Mwaungulu, Martin Hausi and Florence Nthakomwa.
The participants are expected to introduce sitting volleyball in Malawi.
It was also revealed that the participants for sitting volleyball course from Central Region Volleyball League (CRVL) had to borrow transport money from the League as they were requested to meet their travel costs to Mozambique and be refunded by the organisers.
This is contrary to the reports that only CRVL was asked by VAM to sponsor its participants to Mozambique and that VAM did not give any money to the eight who travelled to Maputo.
This was confirmed by both CRVL general secretary, Tarsizio Chikaonda and treasurer, Philip Chibwana.
Chikaonda said: “VAM did not ask us to fund the participants. As a League, we just took an initiative to lend them them the money so that we are assured of them traveling especially that the money was to be refunded by the organisers.
“The agreement was that they will pay back the League when the are back from Mozambique.”
However, four months down the line, since they come back from Mozambique, the two CRVL participants have not lived up to the agreement and are yet to pay back the money.
“As a League, we lent them MK85,000 each and we are yet to get our money back. It’s been overdue, but I have also been busy to follow up. We expect them to pay back the money. Its for the League.”
However, the two participants from CRVL, Emily Hara and Fred Gonela, regardless of confirming that they got the money, neither confirmed nor denied if they have refunded the money.
“I am not comfortable to tell you over the phone whether I have settled the money I got from CRVL or not unless we have to meet in person and talk about it,” Gonela said.
When contacted Hara asked this reporter to talk to the CRVL public relations officer.
“So you are busy with the money issue? Why not ask about the knowledge we got from the trip and the plan on how we want to implement it?”
On his part, VAM general secretary was more concerned on the people’s perception just towards the funding.
“Many people think as if VAM is given a lot of money but they don’t know that in taking volleyball up to this stage, it’s through our individual effort where we spend from personal resources for the love of the sport and country.
“But I am also surprised to note that even the people who went to Mozambique cannot tell their friends the truth of what they got and up to now no one has formed any team. To run sports in Malawi needs people with passion,” he said.
The association basically depends on Sports Council for funding and also from some individuals sacrifice personal resources.
VAM, which is amongst the ‘underfunded’ Sports Council affiliate, an annual allocation of about MK2.5 million from the Government for 2018/2019 financial year.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :