By Chimweta Luyando
ELIAS Mpondela says he will leave the presidency of the Zambia Amateur Athletics Association ‘when time comes’.
Mpondela, who has been at the helm of the ZAAA since 1998, believes if the association ‘goes back to the pockets’, it would not work once he left.
“I will leave when time comes. I’m sure time will come. Leadership is a great challenge and every election I have gone for, I have been challenged [and] sometimes I’m challenged wrongly, like I was challenged wrongly in 2014. If ZAAA goes back to the pockets, it will not work after I have gone. In Zambia, you believe in things collapsing and [you] start building. We have elections in 2021 and it will be 23 years of performance,”
Mpondela said on ZNBC TV’s ‘Sunday Interview’.
He added that he had walked a path of developing the annual inter-company relay amidst a lot of hurdles.
“But surely, I could have done much better, I must admit. I have walked a path of developing inter-company relay amidst a lot of challenges; stoned but moving forward. When you talk about football success, you attribute it also to government involvement – everybody goes there to watch even if it’s the league. [But] when you talk about athletics, it’s something in the corner that has been developing and made possible by a group of young women and men. Thanks to me that I put in this inter-company relay innovation and it has stood for 19 years,” said Mpondela.