TODAY’S Zambia Boxing Federation (ZBF) elective Annual General Meeting which has been delayed by a week will be either peaceful or controversial depending on how the current executive led by president Thomas Chileshe behaves.
The postponement was due to some dead court matter involving the Midlands Amateur Boxing Association (MABA) and ZBF which the ZBF erroneously sought to resurrect for reasons that are unclear.
I say the elections could be peaceful or controversial because of a precedent set when Chileshe manipulated the last election in his favour using fraudulent means to win at the expense of other candidates, notably his main rival then Chris Malunga, Oriental Quarries Boxing Promotions director of operations.
The Sports Council of Zambia (SCZ) has promised to conduct a fair and transparent election today and it is the hope of all candidates and delegates that they live up to their word, given that last time they allowed an illegality to pass with impunity.
The pre-election period has typically been marked by lively debates in boxing circles on what chances the current executive has to retain its mandate against a myriad of accusations of corruption, ineptitude, chicanery and all sorts of ills which have characterised its tenure.
Interestingly, the leading contender for the top job, past vice-president Kennedy Mubita, is throwing in his hat against Chileshe, but there are questions on whether Mubita’s record is not tainted too since he hobnobbed with his boss.
From the look of things, however, Mubita is the favourite to oust the incumbent given that all the bodies -Copperbelt Amateur Boxing Association (CABA), SPABA and MABA have all rallied behind him as their candidate for this election.
You could say the Chileshe executive is on the threshold of relinqushing its hold on power it has held illegally since the expiry of its term last February. That is if the elections will be held in a free, fair and transparent atmosphere which the affiliates have urged. It’s quite clear from the general mood among stakeholders that this time around no nonsense will be tolerated.
Three weeks ago, I catalogued issues which I felt delegates would have to ponder at today’s meeting. Among them, to recap, were the well documented rampant corruption of the current executive, patronage and general maladministration.
There has been a sour taste among affiliates about financial impropriety where the president failed to pay affiliation fees to SCZ after receiving such monies from associations, particularly MABA.
Since I started writing this column, I have made numerous predictions of major boxing match outcomes at both local and international levels. These predictions have been correct 99 per cent of the time. I have never, however, predicted the outcome of any ZBF elective AGM.
But I am tempted to predict this time. My prediction is, however, conditional on free, fair and transparent elections. If this will be the case, I see a change of the guard today and that only something of a miracle would have to happen for the current executive to be returned into office again.
If the affiliates allow someone to dribble them again this time, they will have no one to blame but themselves. Do they want corruption, ineptitude, chicanery and squabbles that have characterised the tenure of this executive to continue? Let’s wait and see.
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