SOCCER administrator Blackwell Siwale says he is disappointed and excited at the same time that FIFA will send a representative to mediate in the disputes that have rocked the football fraternity over the last few years.
Last week, a correspondence between FIFA and the Ministry of Youth and Sport surfaced where the world soccer governing body announced that a representative would be sent to mediate in the wrangles that escalated prior to the elections.
Siwale told Goal Diggers that it is a disappointment that it had to take FIFA to resolve the dispute, but said he is, however, excited that FIFA would get first hand information of the happenings through its representative.
“I’m both disappointed and excited that FIFA has decided to send a representative to help resolve the wrangles in the soccer fraternity. In Zambian football in the last 12 years, all the wrangles that FIFA has come to mediate on [were] because of Andrew Kamanga. Nobody else. In 2009/2010, he formed a parallel league and administration. Again FIFA was sent to come and mediate when there was an existing EXCO duly elected in office. Fast forward, Kamanga wins elections, he becomes selfish; again, FIFA has been sent to mediate in the wrangles. So, who is the problem here? Is it the stakeholders, the aggrieved parties or Andrew Kamanga? Andrew Kamanga, when he was in opposition, FIFA had to come and mediate. In fact, FIFA sent a representative to come and see why there were wrangles in Zambia in 2009 and 2010,” Siwale alleged.
He said among the issues that he wanted FIFA to mediate on include the illegitimacy of the Emergency General Meeting (EGM) that formulated an electoral road-map.
Siwale argued that the delegates in that meeting were illegitimate as they were “illegally chosen” by the current administration.
“Our cry has been very straightforward; number one, Andrew Kamanga knew very little of the Electoral Code and the appeals committee until Konkola Mine Police wrote them a letter to say we are almost going into elections, where are these bodies? He didn’t know. Upon receiving those letters, that’s when he decided to go round the country bribing people by giving them jerseys and footballs and picked four delegates to come and attend an emergency council [meeting] which eventually gave a road-map to what is happening today. Now under Article 26 sub 6 of the constitution of the Football Association of Zambia, the only organ to conduct elections is the elections body, not the secretariat. So in other words, the four delegates that were picked by Kamanga to attend the EGM were illegitimate,” Siwale said.
“It follows therefore that any deliberations and decisions made in that congress were null and void. But does FIFA know that this is what happened? The answer is no. We will tell them because all Kamanga did was to write them that ‘the EGM was ok. We did what we could with the road-map and congress approved these issues’. Did he tell them that those who attended were illegitimate members? The answer is no. We want FIFA, when they come, and whoever the stakeholders will be that will be attending that meeting, to know that the constitution of the Football Association of Zambia is illegal and designed to safeguard an individual in office.”
He further said the current FAZ constitution is not inclusive.
“It’s not football related, it is one that protects a person in particular office and a few other individuals. For example, under Article 33 subsection 3, it’s very clear the president shall be elected for a term of four years. In fact, it says the term shall be four years, shall is mandatory. You don’t need to negotiate with it. Now here is the challenge that Kamanga has created. In the 2006 constitution, there were timeliness there. For example, it was written that the elections shall be held on or before the 19 of March, assuming that that’s when the four years end,” said Siwale. “Now why did we go eight days after the end of term without holding the elections? It’s because there were no timelines there. Andrew deliberately removed those timelines. How many cases is Kamanga himself facing in the courts of law and where he is being investigated? But he is stopping others from standing on account of being investigated. All these are issues we will bring before FIFA when the representative comes. The illegitimacy of the Ethics Committee headed by one Kephas Katongo is another issue. We will put a comprehensive report for FIFA. A lot of issues will come out.”