By Trust Mtegha & Duncan Mlanjira
Malawi National Council of Sports has announced that it will no longer provide funds to its affiliate associations for their administrative activities through the annual subventions which they are provided but will only fund sports programs that will be highlighted in the association’s strategic plans.
The Sports Council is a government agency that implement its sport policies under Department of Sports in Ministry of Labour, Youth ,Sports and Manpower Development and associations submit their annual budgets which are sent to treasury for consideration in the national budget that is approved by Parliament.
Sports Council Executive Secretary George Jana said they will only be funding clear cuts development plans that are in association’s strategic plans and that they are planning to help develop such plans for those associations that do not have one.
“The Council will work with all associations to ensure that these plans are developed and properly implemented. Currently we are working on a schedule for the preparation of the strategic plans with the concerned associations”, he said.
Responding to the development, considering that Volleyball Association of Malawi (VAM) has no sponsors or partners to support its administrative activities, general secretary Jairos Nkhoma said they cannot come up with programs both locally and internationally without people meeting to plan.
“Some of the meetings are very vital towards the program implementations,” said Nkhoma, whose association has been receiving about MK2 million as annual subvention from the Sports Council. “The development will be a challenge to most of the Associations as most of them are not attached to corporate company sponsorships.
“To move on with the new development, as VAM we need to fully involve our teams affiliates by making sure that they honour their affiliate annual fee subscription as stipulated in our constitution. The little contributions can help the association to add value to the funds through a number of activities which can regenerate funds.
“We have been blessed in the past to have individuals using their own funds in the daily affairs of the Association, but such trend cannot be sustained as times are different in financial set up. The development of our sport must not only be left to committees but it must be joint venture from both teams/Clubs and companies,” he said.
Nkhoma prayed for a change in the way volleyball stakeholders have been working. He asked all leagues and stakeholders to be accomodative and work hand in hand with VAM on the development.
“Therefore, the new development from Sports Council can be a thing under the carpet if we change the we work in a combined efforts as our friends do in other countries. We believe in team work and it’s our hope that that better solutions will be embraced when we have meetings with our region leagues and stakeholders,” said Nkhoma, who disclosed that VAM already has in place a 2016-2021 strategic plan.
Netball Association of Malawi (NAM) president Khungekile Matiya said the new development will affect their association because we will be sending the budget for programmes as required Sports Council.
“We were not asking funds for administrative meetings,” Matiya said. “NAM has a strategic plan which it has just finalised and it will soon be presented to the General Assembly for ratification.”
Chess Association of Malawi (Chessam) president Susan Namangale, who was elected last August, said she was not aware if Chessam was asking for funding for administrative meetings before.
“We are in the process of developing a strategic plan for 2019-2022 and it’s now in draft form which we plan to send to Sports Council for input. It’s good to know that Sports Council has plans to help associations to develop strategic plans,” she said.
Darts Association confirmed receipt of the communication from Sports Council on the new development and they already have plans to find means of how to sustain themselves.
“This won’t affect the association as mostly we do fund ourselves on most of the programmes except on international duties where we normally look for government assistance as sometimes we fail to source the required amount to sustain of budgets.
“Plans are already there to start our own initiatives so that we are able to foot our bills. As an association we have a yearly strategic plan on how we can run our business with the guidance of the Council,” said DAM’s newl-elected vice-president Brave Chirwa.