By SANDRA MWILA -
THE Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) has summoned five club officials to a disciplinary hearing over their collection of signatures to petition the Andrew Kamanga-led FAZ executive on the pending reduction of the FAZ electoral college.
The summoned officials have been collecting signatures from lower division clubs so that they boycott games in protest against the planned reduction on the number of clubs in the FAZ structure.
FAZ has summoned lower division club officials like Damino Mutale, the proprietor of Damino Academy, and Maxmillian Chanda, the Central Province coordinator who is also Kabwe United secretary.
Others are Kelvin Chipili of Zanama Brave Rovers, Albert Mainsa of Ipusukilo Football Club, and Grace Gondwe of Chinsali.
FAZ general secretary Ponga Liwewe confirmed the disciplinary meeting to be held this Saturday, but declined to name the officials and cases involved.
“We have a disciplinary committee meeting on Saturday and we shall inform you about the outcome. I will not divulge the details of the hearing.
“FAZ has a code of conduct that members should follow and if it is breached, the disciplinary committee should take action,” Liwewe said.
In a letter obtained by the Times, FAZ stated that the Kamanga executive had been attacked in the press, which is against the FAZ constitution in Article 7.10 of the FAZ disciplinary code.
“Registered officials and players are prohibited from attacking fellow club officials and members of FAZ through any media, be it press, radio or television.
“Therefore, adequate channels of communication are open to club officials and players to express their grievances. Disregard for this rule will result in offending parties being brought before the disciplinary committee for action,” reads part of the letter.
But Chanda in his defence yesterday said he did not attack the FAZ executive in any way in his sentiments in the media.
He admitted that he had been spearheading the process of collecting signatures from division two and three clubs to boycott league games.
He said that was meant to compel FAZ to have an emergency meeting with them and explain in details the electoral college.
Chanda stated that he had personally called Kamanga requesting for a meeting, but was told the president was busy.
He said lower division clubs did not understand the FIFA directive to reduce the electoral college by September 30, this year, and clubs needed to be addressed by FAZ urgently.
“Yes, we have been summoned for a disciplinary hearing on Saturday and FAZ has written letters to us to that effect. FAZ claims that we attacked the Kamanga-led executive in a statement we issued in the press, but what I said was that we are boycotting games to compel FAZ to have a meeting with us to explain the nitty-gritties of the electoral college.
“I was collecting signatures from clubs to boycott games as a protest because to us, that was a legal way to do things. I called Mr Kamanga asking him for a meeting, he told me he was busy, I also called the treasurer Rix Mweemba who gave me an insight of what will happen but I was not satisfied and I challenged him to explain how it would work here in Central Province where no structures are in place,” Chanda said.
He further said the summoned officials would attend the disciplinary hearing though they already knew the outcome would be suspensions.
“The current executive just wants to witch-hunt all those that supported Kalusha Bwalya by silencing us. We will not stop talking if things are going wrong and the disciplinary hearing we shall go, we are not scared though we are aware they want to suspend us,” he said.