Organizations affiliated to the Athletics Association of Malawi (AAM) attended a meeting convened by the disbanded Executive Committee (EX-CO) in Lilongwe on Saturday, despite warnings against the move by the Malawi National Council of Sports.
The council, through a press statement on Friday, asked affiliates not to “associate with or be involved in any activities organized by the Godfrey Phiri-led dissolution committee as it has no right to serve as AAM executive members.” There is no mandate”.
However, associates from across the country proceeded to attend the meeting where they adopted the “Revised Constitution of the Association”.
Central Region Athletics Committee chairperson Hermes Kasia and Nyakambi Athletics Club representative Memory Choluka yesterday said they attended the meeting because they were confused about the situation.
“As children who need proper guidance, we are confused as to which side to follow. Hence, we could not do otherwise but attend the meeting after being invited,” said Kasia .
Chauluka argued that the council’s warning came at the wrong time when everything about the meeting had already been decided.
She added: “Furthermore, we are in a dilemma over leaving out the ‘dissolved’ ex-co as the council only recently incorporated [African Union Sports Council] Region 5 youth sports in Lilongwe despite disbandment.
“Frankly, it puts us in an awkward position as to who to trust.”
The meeting adopted the “Revised Constitution”, the major changes of which included the name change from AAM to Athletics Malawi, coming up with the position of second vice president and the decision to stop EXO from appointing members to various committees such as coaches, women and athletes. .
But sports council spokesman Edgar Ntulumbawa yesterday insisted their stance was unchanged, adding that affiliates would have to work with the association’s stand-in committee, headed by Justice Sylvester Kalembera, if they are to be recognised.
He added: “First of all, they should know that their meeting took place without the blessing of the government. We will also keep reminding the organizations involved in athletics that the EXCO headed by Justice Kalembera is the one that will handle the process of adopting the constitution.” Has been and is conducting elections.
However, Frank Chitembeya, secretary general of the beleaguered AAM Xco, said yesterday that the presence of the affiliates at the meeting proved that they are a legitimate ex-co.
He said: “Everything was going well because everyone had an input before the amended constitution was adopted.
“We are pleased that affiliates turned up in large numbers as they know the athletics rules and understand our general mode of operation,” he said.
Chitembeya said he would send a copy of the amended constitution to all stakeholders including World Athletics, the Confederation of African Athletics (CAA) and the council to begin preparations for his election meeting in Majuzu on 26 February.