Fans favour Fleetwood Haiya for the post of SULOM presidency; Encourage him to also eye FAM presidency

Fleetwood Haiya, Nyasa Big Bullets vice-president 

* I am not a Nyasa Big Bullets fan but I admire this guy—Christopher Sande

* Let him compete with Walter Nyamilandu at FAM in December, he can beat him—Sekani Mkonda

By Duncan Mlanjira

Football fans took to social media as reports indicate that Nyasa Big Bullets vice-president, Fleetwood Haiya is being encouraged by affiliates to contest for the post of Super League of Malawi (SULOM) presidency at its elective annual general meeting (AGM) next month.


He will be up against the incumbent, Tiya Somba-Banda, who attained the post unopposed. However, Haiya said he was still considering whether to accept the challenge or not having been approached by some affiliates, saying he would do so by close of business on Tuesday having widely consulted.

However, after Archibald Kasakura posted a picture of Haiya on Facebook with the caption: “Ladies and Gentlemen — the future of Malawi football is here. Achalume Fleetwood Haiya”, fans were optimistic that Haiya has what it takes to lead Malawi’s elite football league.

He is lauded for the management success of Nyasa Big Bullets over the recent years as its vice-president, which has very sound administrative structures including taking good care of its players’ economic welfare.

In his response to Kasakula’s post, Christopher Sande said: “I am not a Nyasa Big Bullets fan, but I admire this guy” while Spencer Zimba said: “Awa amatha simukunamayi. Umu muli kudziwa administration (this man is indeed a good administrator”).

Steve Zimba and Daniel Mababa also attested that Haiya is such a good administrator and the right person to lead the Super League while Gift Majanja hinted that he is a sound character that is needed to take over the presidency of Football Association of Malawi (FAM).

Sekani Mkonda agreed to this, saying he should indeed eye the post of FAM presidency, whose elective AGM is in December and Mkonda hinted that if Haiya would contest against Walter Nyamilandu as FAM presidency, “he can beat him”.

“Walter lacks a competitor and Haiya can offer that. Maybe he wants to start from the bottom but SULOM is a Mickey Mouse organisation,” she said. However, the FAM presidency is competed for by a member of FAM’s affiliates after being nominated by his affiliate association.

FAM president Walter Nyamilandu

Mateso Chikhadzula said: “Ku FAM tikanakhala timavota tonse tikanasintha kale kale chinthu chija (if the general populace was to vote at FAM, things could have improved) — otherwise it’s the same song.”

Somba-Banda confirmed that he would contest to retain the post next month. At the last AGM in 2019, Somba-Banda’s team included Major Gilbert Mittawa as his deputy; treasurer is Malinda Chinyama; general secretary is Williams Banda (unopposed); his deputy is Zacharia Nyirenda while lawyer Muhammad Selemani is the legal advisor.

Executive committee members are Ali Mwachande, Charles Manyungwa, marketer Chimwemwe Nyirenda and Michael Chemayere.

In 2019, Somba-Banda’s SULOM team’s manifesto highlighted, amongst several ambitious plans, that the period till 2023, the league was going to lead football into a business entity and to be a professional league during the same period — but pundits assess that the manifesto miserably failed to achieve its strategies.

Tiya Somba-Banda

The 2019 vision was to “focus on creating and harnessing a conducive operating environment for commercialization of clubs” arguing that they took cognizance that the Super League “cannot graduate from amateur to professional if the clubs do not have a financial capacity or if football does not make any business sense”.

For this to be achieved, Somba Banda’s team presented what was described as a “viable business concept” to be based on several areas such as maximizing club football revenues; inspiring teams for Confederation of African Football (CAF) competition participation; optimizing accountability and governance; strengthening stakeholder engagement; leveraging on technology to advance football development and humanizing the player.

On maximizing club football revenues, Somba Banda’s team strove to:

1. Maximizing matchday revenues by;

a) continuously improving gate controls

b) implementing advanced and e-ticketing susstems;

c) introducing match day hospitality

For CAF competition participation, it was pledged that there would be established an annual CAF participation package for the Super League champions, saying such participation “is paramount in improving both football standards and commercial viability of the clubs”.

“The international competition not only presents an opportunity to compete against the best in the continent, but also exposes the clubs’ sponsors and partners to a wider market beyond Malawi and Africa.


On optimizing accountability and governance, SULOM pledged to “continue strengthening” the then “accountability processes of having AGMs, publishing audited accounts and creating the Chairman’s Forum” — a body for regular meetings and or adhoc “to monitor and evaluate the focus areas without waiting for AGM”.

To strengthen stakeholder engagement, Tiya Somba Banda’s team was to:

a) engaging supporter — taking the game beyond matchday and stadiums by introducing several activities around the game such as introducing league games on betting platforms with proceeds going both to clubs and supporters and or introducing competitions whereby fans could win tickets to watch COSAFA, CAF or other international games;

b) engaging former players as one way of improving and establishing a conducive working relationship with the legends;

c) community outreach partnership where clubs or players would be ambassadors for community schools;

d) engaging stadium owners to modernize the stadia for advancement of e-ticketing through installation of electronic turnstiles; and

e) strengthening the relationship with FAM and all its other affiliates to have a well synchronized league calendar and football agenda.


On its 5th agenda of leveraging on technology to advance football development, SULOM was “to develop a database for players on pitch statistics which will help coaches to focus on areas of improvement for individual players and the team”.

While off the pitch, it was to use the statistics “for marketing players abroad and also helping journalists in analyzing games or players”.

Humanizing the player meant to have a “holistic view of the players’ welfare not in isolated packages, thus players shall have professional contracts with all the issues of insurance, medical covers, wages being mandatory in the contracts”.

A source who declined to be mentioned, assessed that the manifesto — which “was beautiful on paper, has not matched what is on the ground”, emphasizing that “Malawi football is still under amateur status, except for teams such as Nyasa Big Bullets, Mighty Wanderers, Silver Strikers”.

“The other teams in the Super League are military sides — Moyale from Mzuzu, Red Lions from Zomba, Kamuzu Barracks in Lilongwe and MAFCO in Salima — which are not designed as commercial or professional as such.

“They add to the glamour of our football because they are indeed very competitive but most of its players are soldiers or sons of soldiers. Therefore, we cannot say that the 2019 manifesto has worked at all — the league just moved on with time,” said our source.

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