MUKWIMA CHILALA writes
With exactly 14 months to go before the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ)’s elective Annual General Meeting, anxiety has gripped the football fraternity about who next leads the soccer body.
Association President Andrew Kamanga, who has already serviced two thirds of his term, is reportedly busy already putting in place mechanisms that would ensure his re-election.
Well-placed sources in the association revealed to the Lusaka Sun in Lusaka this week that though Kamanga is yet to announce his candidature, he faces stiff competition from a few councilors who have already indicated interest in vying for the FAZ top job.
One of the early contenders is expelled former FAZ executive committee member Blackwell Siwale was the first to openly announce his candidature despite having been axed from his executive position early last year.
Siwale told the Sun that he is eligible and ready to contest the FAZ Presidency in 2020 adding that he has never been barred from running for the top position.
“First of all I don’t understand where this notion that I have been banned is coming from. Yes I got a letter of expulsion from the Ethics Committee but was not given an opportunity to exculpate myself. The FAZ Constitution does not bar me from standing,” he stated. “The Ethics Committee has no jurisdiction to ban an individual but a Football club.”
Under Article 9 of the FAZ Constitution, only the Council has power to admit, suspend of expel a member.
Siwale observed that he is eligible for adoption because he is not under any FAZ Club.
According to Siwale, the FAZ Constitution also stipulates that anyone who has served in the association for 5 years or more is eligible to contest for presidency.
“If am not adopted, then they should furnish me with reasons for not adopting me. But if it is for reasons of integrity, then many of us, including those in the current executive, won’t be eligible to stand or to being adopted ,” Siwale said.
Chililabombwe-based Konkola Mine Police President Gideon Mwenya is another soccer administrator who has expressed interest in contesting the FAZ presidency.
Several soccer administrators on the Copperbelt and Southern Province are reported to have endorsed his planned candidature for the FAZ top job.