[By Bright Tembo]
LUSAKA Province minister Bowman Lusambo has come out with guns blazing against the FAZ Ethics Committee that knocked out Kalusha Bwalya from the race to Football House.
Lusambo was one of the people that pledged to pay for Kalusha’s fine when the football mother body FIFA reduced his ban and fine for receiving a bribe.
“As a football loving citizen of this great nation, allow me to share my very personal views about the outcome of the so called Integrity Tests conducted by the Football Association of Zambia for the upcoming elective AGM,” Lusambo said
“To begin with, it should be placed on record that this purported Integrity Test is a sham process devoid of natural justice. The Ethics Committee was birthed by personal hatred and the process is now being used to fix individuals while perpetuating the continued stay of others at the apex of our game.
“If this process adopted any semblance of justice, the individuals making up its composition would not even have been any close to it. The truth is that the composition of this committee is questionable and therefore calls into question its rulings.”
Lusambo said Football House does not have any room for police officers or judges because it was not a police station, neither was it a courtroom.
Lusambo charged that electoral committee had no capacity.
“By any case, if the FAZ Executive Committee really wanted to know the integrity levels of its potential candidates, it should have opened up the investigations to credible state institutions with capacity and track record in investigations and I believe that even the instigators of this bias[ed] process would have been found wanting,” Lusambo said.
“By blocking other people with the passion for the game from participating in its development, the current FAZ executive is killing the game we love so much. Their conduct amounts to that of a serial killer. With the poor results that have characterised their tenure in office, it is fair to say the people running the game today are football serial killers. Their intentions are never about developing the game but getting and maintaining their positions as a way of massaging their small bruised egos.”
Lusambo however asked people to rise against the current FAZ executive.
“My call is for all genuine football lovers to rise and defend our game from these serial killers before they strike the final nail in the coffin. We have heard private conversations in which they have unashamedly stated that they would rather have Zambia banned by FIFA than give up their positions, that for me confirms that these people care little about the role that the game plays in uniting the nation. For them, this is about egos and not growing the game,” Lusambo said.
“As a nation, we have invested heavily in football. The nation lost its gallant sons on the shores of Gabon playing this game. We shall not allow selfish individuals destroy the one thing that unites this great nation. One wonders where these people were when this team went rebuilding in the aftermath of the Gabon disaster. We have people who put their lives on the line and championed the rebuilding process because they understood what the game meant to this nation. These are some of the people this sham committee chooses to disenfranchise using a sham process.”
On Friday, the Ethics Committee announced the names of the successful candidates for the fourthcoming elective general meeting and Kalusha Bwalya was not among them.
Bwalya rubbished the decision to disqualify him from election on account of failing the integrity test.
He said natural justice demands that the perceived guilty party was given an audience to defend themselves but this did not happen in his case.
He however said the move by the Ethics Committee was null and void and he would stand weather people liked it or not.
He was speaking at press briefing where Lusambo and the mayor of Lusaka Miles Sampa, together with some PF supporters, were present to give him solidarity.
“So I am still candidate for this election and I have given my heart and soul for Zambia and I used to come from Mexico to come and play the same day and go back. I travelled three days to reach Zambia and play, so I am Zambian, raised here and I am eligible to stand for the elections on the 28th in the normal process,” he said
“As long as I am Zambian, I am going to stand whether the people like it or not.”
Meanwhile, former Buildcon CEO Ricky Chisenga Mamfunda was also knocked out on integrity to have a go at the FAZ presidency.
From his latest posting, the football administrator has accepted the decision of the Ethics Committee as he posted: “In life you do not lose, it’s either you win or you learn! It is well with my soul!”