FAZ has stated that the association made use of the constitutional provisions to determine the eligibility of those who had filed to contest the elections.

In a statement, FAZ acting spokesperson Sydney Mungala stated that there were other criteria used for validating nominations other than the integrity test, but could not categorically state what those methods were.

The clarification came after media reports accused the association of failing to explain why soccer legend Kalusha Bwalya was disqualified from contesting the presidency.

“The Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) wishes to set the record straight following a story that appeared in the Sunday Mail of February 16, 2020, under the headline ‘It Wasn’t Me -Ethics, Electoral Committee Offer Differing Accounts’. FAZ wishes to state from the outset that the author of the said story, Mr Alex Basopo Njobvu, is a candidate in the forthcoming elections as chairperson under Lusaka Province. The author called the Ethics Committee chairperson Mr. Kephas Katongo seeking clarity over his candidature and regrettably went ahead to publish the contents of an informal conversation that was a mix of vernacular and English. FAZ may within its constitutional provisions seek remedial measures against Mr. Basopo’s conduct who, as a FAZ member as well as a practicing journalist, has an obligation to act above board,” Mungala stated.

“Mr. Katongo made it very clear as is stipulated in the FAZ constitution that the Ethics Committee and Electoral Committee do work in tandem in the interest of having a smooth-running election. The FAZ Electoral Code does make it clear in Article 7 (1) the eligibility criteria for the positions to be filled within the relevant bodies of FAZ are defined in the relevant positions of the statutes of FAZ. The Electoral Committee shall publish the full list of eligibility criteria (with reference to the relevant provisions of the statutes of FAZ), as well as the documents to be provided for each of the positions within the deadlines stipulated in the statutes of FAZ.”

He stated that the association was surprised that there were still attempts to discredit it despite having clearly spelt out the roadmap.

“The FAZ Electoral Code in Article 8 (5) clearly stipulates the role of the Ethics Committee, ‘In parallel, the Ethics Committee shall carry out the integrity checks to the respective candidatures for the Executive Committee and shall inform its decision to the Electoral Committee within three days of the deadline for their submission.’ It is therefore surprising that despite FAZ having clearly spelt out the electoral roadmap repeatedly with the rules and regulations around the elections, there is still a sustained subtle campaign to discredit the process,” stated Mungala.

“The Ethics Committee does not wish to rid itself of the responsibility charged on it as regards the integrity test conducted on all candidates. It must, however, be noted that there are other criteria for validating nominations other than the integrity test. FAZ wishes to advise the media to remain impartial in their coverage of the electoral process. The FAZ doors remain open to provide all the necessary information around the elections. FAZ is happy that the FIFA approved and FAZ extraordinary general meeting (EGM) endorsed roadmap on 1st February, 2020 is firmly on course with all the strict legal procedures adhered to.”