Vice-President Chilima during prize presentation
* “We will demand accountability for every transaction as we would like to see the money being used for its purpose”
* “Do not let our energy and efforts go to waste”
* “I sincerely ask the FAM president and his executive to ensure that there is no gross misconduct”
* “This is one reason Malawi is still lagging behind — fraud and corruption”
* He slammed the tendency of some officials who have been seeking accommodation at 5-star hotels
* The habit is counterproductive towards the fundraising initiatives
By Andrew Magombo, MANA & Duncan Mlanjira, Maravi Express
Vice-President Saulos Chilima has asked Football Association of Malawi (FAM) to repay the efforts of well-wishers for the Malawi national football team’s fundraising drive by being transparent and accountable in the management of the funds.
Chilima, who arrived at Lilongwe Golf Club ahead of schedule at exactly 06:45hrs for his tee-off in the ‘Kuyipatsa Moto Flames’ fundraising golf tournament, said the only way FAM can thank all the contributors is by being accountable for every kwacha spent.
“I came here before the starting time early in the morning and here I am still together with these people for a noble cause of supporting our national team,” Chilima said during prize presentation ceremony.
“We will demand accountability for every transaction as we would like to see the money being used for its purpose. Do not let our energy and efforts go to waste.
“Thus I sincerely ask the FAM president [Walter Nyamilandu] and his executive to ensure that there is no gross misconduct for this is one reason Malawi is still lagging behind — fraud and corruption.”
He slammed the tendency of some officials who have been seeking accommodation at 5-star hotels — describing the habit as counterproductive towards the fundraising initiatives.
“We are here mobilizing funds for our national team yet some people have the audacity of benefiting from this through luxurious spending at hotels — this nonsense must stop!”
The Vice-President, who was flanked by Minister of Finance, Felix Mlusu and Minister of Sports, Ulemu Msungama challenged the corporate world — particularly the banking and telecommunications sector — to take lead in supporting the Flames as part of corporate social responsibility.
A fortnight ago Minister Msungama told the Nation newspaper that Finance Minister Mlusu had asked for FAM’s financial report as a condition before Treasury can consider the K700 million (about US$860,000) special funding request.
Msungama is quoted as saying he had engaged Mlusu where he had asked for FAM’s audited financial report so that they analyse their financial operations and also to appreciate how FAM runs its finances.
He also disclosed that FAM president Nyamilandu immediately complied by sending copies of the financial reports to both ministers.
The Flames’ AFCON finals budget is pegged at K1.5 billion (about US$1.8 million), part of which shall be funded by the Flames official sponsor, FDH Bank and participation subsidy from world governing body, FIFA.
This budget caters for the team’s travel costs, accommodation, air tickets, game appearance fees and bonuses for all the preparatory international friendly and competitive matches the team will play between now and December 2021 and the actual participation at AFCON finals in Cameroon.
Ahead of the tournament on Wednesday, when the taskforce received a K5 million platinum sponsorship from the country’s leading financial service provider NICO Group that include NBS Bank and Eris Properties, FAM first vice-president, Justice Jabbar Alide had disclosed that the target of K30 million that was set for the golf tournament had been exceeded.
He still urged wellwishers to continue their support towards the Flames’ preparations and not to just participate, but to competitively participate at the Cameroon 2022 AFCON in which they are grouped alongside Senegal, Guinea and fellow Confederation of Southern African Football Association (COSAFA) member, Zimbabwe.
In his remarks at the prize giving on Saturday, Alide — who is leader of the Flames resource mobilisation taskforce — applauded Chilima’s commitment, describing it a classical example of true leadership.
Alide further hailed Chilima for his continued interest in helping the Flames having been at the helm of a similar drive when the national team was hard hit years ago due to lack of funding.
“I ask the corporate world and individuals to replicate the spirit and commitment shown by the Vice-President through partnering the Flames resource mobilisation taskforce for preparations and participation at the AFCON in Cameroon,” he said.
Golfers who performed well in the tournament were presented with various prizes and there was also auction of a scooter that went at K1.7 million as well as two return air tickets to a place of the winner’s liking.
According to some FAM officials, approximately K86 million was raised through auction and other fundraising avenues which were undertaken on the day.
Thus Justice Alide appealed for more support towards the Flames resource mobilisation in pledges and participation in other fundraising activities lined up that include a dinner to be graced by the Head of State, President Lazarus Chakwera.
At the AFCON, the host country Cameroun are in Group A alongside Burkina Faso, Ethiopia and Cape Verde; Group C has north African giants Morocco alongside Ghana, Comoros and Gabon while the Super Eagles of Nigeria are in Group D with AFCON seven-time champions Egypt alongside Sudan and Guinea-Bissau.
Reigning African champions Algeria are in group E alongside Côte d’Ivoire, Sierra-Leone and Equatorial Guinea in Group E while Tunisia, Mali, Mauritania and Gambia are in Group F.
The hosts, who are five-time tournament champs, will host Burkina Faso in Group A opener in Yaoundé on January 9.