SPORTS Minister Chishimba Kambwili has threatened to ban for life former 400 world metres champion Samuel Matete for holding what he said was an illegal Zambia Amateur Athletics Association annual general meeting on Saturday.
“Let me send a strong warning to Matete, Jonathan Chipalo, Judith Chaongopa, Carol Mokola and his so-called interim ZAAA executive that under my leadership and the Patriotic Front Government, we shall not allow anarchy in sporting associations,” he said.
Kambwili said the AGM which elected Matete as president on Saturday at Mulungushi International Conference Centre was illegal and warned his executive that they risked being expelled from the sport through the National Sports Council of Zambia.
Kambwili said he did not want to be the one to issue instructions for their expulsion because the constitution of ZAAA was very clear and that Elias Mpondela was still president of the association.
“If they do not want to follow the ZAAA constitution I am afraid that they may find it difficult to work with the Ministry of Sports,” he said.
Lusaka High Court on Wednesday granted Matete and four others an interim injunction to stop the Mpondela executive from barring them from contesting the ZAAA presidency. ZAAA decided to postpone the elective meeting citing the constraints. On Saturday, 25 ZAAA affiliates convened an AGM at which they elected Matete as ZAAA interim president.
Matete was declared winner after the Elias Mpondela-led executive did not show up at the AGM.
Kambwili said he had been working with the Matete group over the same issue, adding that he had called Matete to his office and he did not show up. He said he also told Chipalo what he needed to do to be in the right standing with the Ministry of Sports and ZAAA, but they have allegedly ignored the advice given.
“So in short the Matete interim executive is not and shall never be recognized by Government. As far as we are concerned the ZAAA president is still Mpondela and the general secretary is Phil Kubombela,” he said.
Kambwili said the “illegal” Matete executive should not force his ministry and the National Sports Council to ban them for life.
“I want to warn them again that this is not time for playing games.
ZAAA is very organized and one of the best sporting associations in Zambia and I do not want people to bring anarchy to that association,” he said.
Kambwili said Matete had showed high levels of indiscipline by not consulting his ministry before going to court to seek an injunction against barring them from contesting the ZAAA presidency.
“There was no need for Matete and others to go to court without consulting me. I was surprised when I started reading in the press that Matete was granted an injunction,” he said.