By SANDRA MWILA –
ZAMBIA Amateur Athletics Association (ZAAA) president Elias Mpondela said the nullification of the Sports Council of Zambia (SCZ) polls came as a shocker.
Meanwhile, the Handball Association of Zambia (HAZ) said nullifying the SCZ elections was not a solution.
Speaking in an interview, Mpondela said the Minister’s announcement caught him by surprise especially that the elections were called and supervised by Government.
Mpondela said the SCZ Act amendment process will take long to revise and implement and would thereby affect the smooth running of associations.
“Yes the SCZ Act needs to be amended for there are a few things that need to change but nullifying the elections is not good move because the board members we elected are association’s representative,” he said.
Sports Minister Moses Mawere on Thursday quashed the election of the seven board members and called for the revision of the SCZ Act which he said was outdated. Mawere also said the appointment of the entire board was put on hold until the process was finalised.
“I believe the process of amendment will take long and imagine sports associations dealing with the ministry all the time they face problems,” Mpondela said.
He said the Minister should reconsider his nullification and also consider appointing board members to run affairs of sports associations.
“I feel that the best vehicle the ministry should have used to amend the SCZ Act are the board members. The elected should have remained and he (Minister) should have appointed the rest and task the board to spearhead the amendment process in consultation from sports associations,” Mpondela said.
And speaking in a separate interview, HAZ president Victor Banda said his association was against the move taken by Mawere.
Banda said HAZ did not welcome the move because the board members elected where the choice of the sports associations, who are the main stakeholders.
He said the SCZ Act definitely needed to be amended but the SCZ board members should have been left in office to be part of the review process.
“As HAZ, we don’t support the nullification of the SCZ elections because we elected people we felt would represent sports associations. It is sad that some of the board members have made it clear they will not stand in the next elections.” Banda said.
Banda said the minister has the power to nullify elections but has also stripped off sports associations’ powers to elect.
“My plea to the Minister is that sports associations should also have a voice as they amend the Act and should not remove the clause that allows us (sports associations) to have the right to vote for seven board members,” Banda said.