Team Kalusha’s Wrong Campaign Strategy: A Lesson For Zambian Football

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Football Association of Zambia president Andrew Kamanga
Football Association of Zambia president Andrew Kamanga

By Paul Shalala

It took over an hour for the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) President-Elect Andrew Kamanga to move from the audience at Moba Hotel to the front of the conference room, a short distance of about 60 meters.

Overjoyed councilors who had fought for eight years to unseat the 1988 African Footballer of Year at the helm of FAZ, could not believe it when the returning officer Sukwana Lukangaba declared Kamanga the winner at around 02:00hrs on Sunday morning.

This victory was not an easy one considering that Kalusha was in command of the secretariat and had good will from various clubs countrywide plus his international image and connections.

But what does this regime change at Football House teach the football fraternity?

Hero worshiping doesn’t pay

For six months, a number of Kalu fans ran a sustained smear campaign on social media that portrayed Kamanga as an inexperienced football administrator who was not fit to lead Zambian football.

This campaign was led by well known journalists who bombarded Facebook with daily propaganda messages against Kamanga and rarely posted campaign messages for their candidate.

The campaign’s aim was to ensure that Kamanga is hated by councilors and they end up denying him votes at the annual general meeting.

However, this campaign backfired as most people who were commenting on these journalists’ statuses were yearning for change at Football House.
Kalusha was so hero worshipped that these journalists had details of every move he made: jumping on a plane, sitting down at the FIFA headquarters, reporting for work at Football House, shaking hands with influential people, and receiving guests, etc.

Kalu had led FAZ as President for eight years and prior to that, he served as Vice President for four years.

His record at FAZ (wining Africa Cup in 2012) plus his exploits as Chipolopolo striker, captain and coach was enough for these online supporters to have used to sell their candidate but they decided to use the wrong strategy of attacking the opponent.

Our friends lost it because they put hero worshiping first instead of selling a good product in the name of Kalusha Bwalya.

Simply put, Kalu would have whitewashed Kamanga if his campaign team had the right strategy and the right message.

Most football councilors are not online

The strategists in the Kalu camp missed the point by heavily campaigning online.

They put up a spirited campaign on Facebook forgetting that the people with the power to vote where mostly offline.

Take for example my home team Mumbwa Medics Football Club.

As far as I know, not all its executive members are online and there is less than 20% chance of reaching them by campaigning on Facebook.

Kamanga had little presence on social media and he devoted most of his time and energies meeting the clubs and selling his message to the clubs physically.

He also ran an advert at the back of newspapers for a long time, a strategy I think which sold him to the football family especially with his call for transparency and accountability.

Regime change comes with non-violence

Four years ago when Kamanga challenged Kalu and lost, there was a lot of confusion and violence during the FAZ Annual General Meeting.

Councilors were not ready to change the FAZ leadership that’s why they resisted change physically to ensure that our football icon Kalusha Bwalya remains at the helm of football in the country.

However, with so many issues surrounding the running of the game, councilors resolved to kick out their boss and ensured he ran away from Moba Hotel before final results were announced.

A few days ago, we were told that over 1,000 Police officers had been mobilised to maintain law and order at Moba Hotel following reports that Jerabos had been mobilised to cause confusion.

However, this was not the case when the over 350 Councillors converged at the AGM on saturday.

The 2016 FAZ AGM was the most peaceful as councilors mingled, voted and later celebrated or got disappointed without a fight.

Secretariat picked a wrong fight with Journalists

The outgoing FAZ Secretariat (Am sure Kamanga will choose his own staff), picked a wrong fight with the media.

Journalists seen to be critical were barred from certain events and games in the name of not having accreditation.

At one game at Levy Mwanawasa Stadium in Ndola, MUVI TV sports reporter Mike Mubanga was flushed out by a well known FAZ official for allegedly being critical of Football House.

Last night when votes were being counted, Mike was again flushed out of Moba Hotel by eight heavily armed Police officers at the instruction of a FAZ official.

And when the results were announced that Kamanga had won, Mike rushed to Moba Hotel to confront the official by which time he had already disappeared.

“You Police officers, you kicked me out because FAZ ordered you to do so. Now am ordering you to look for that man and kick him out of Moba Hotel because he is now out of employment,” said Mike as he ran around the hotel looking for FAZ officials.

Several respected radio football analysts like Leonard Chibasa, Aarin Phiri, Patrick Tembo and several other friends of the beautiful game were denied accreditation to the AGM on account of not being ‘in good books’ with FAZ.

These are mistakes which the Kalu camp made and they should learn from them if they are to make a come back in 2020.

Wayforward for Zambian football

Kamanga can go for a honeymoon for a short period of time and quickly get back to work because Zambians are impatient and they love football.

The football family has a lot of expectations from the business magnate.

Councilors who effected this regime change want to see real change at Football House.

Starting from football deals, team selection and the association’s image, Kamanga needs to make sure he works hard and ensures all his campaign promises are implemented.

He promised to overhaul the way Division One operates and we expected nothing less than that.

If Kamanga is going to appoint his own FAZ Secretariat, we expect him to appoint capable people who will work for football and not for Kamanga.

If those appointees will also start hero worshiping and praising Kamanga where they go, then the repeat of Moba Hotel will not be long.

Otherwise, congratulations Mr Kamanga and and congratulations also to Chingola businessman, former Nchanga Member of Parliament and Mines Deputy Minister Richard Kazala who was elected FAZ Vice President.

We expect nothing but transparency, accountability and success for our beloved Chipolopolo in your four years in office.

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29 COMMENTS

  1. Very biased report iwe Ka Shalala wabe t ch1kala

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    • Kalusha did what he could. Time to move on. Good luck to Kamanga team

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  2. Good analysis Paul.
    I only wish ZNBC journalists had latitude to comment freely and genuinely analyse Zambia’s politics. But too much interference.

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  3. Viva Democracy!!!

    I appeal to Chagwa Lungu to allow the nation to have a peaceful campaign and voting.

    When is Lungu going to allow the opposition to display their campaign messages in Lusaka and Copperbelt markets?

    When your Excellency are you going to stop collecting ‘kabende’ and other corrupt driven levies in markets and in the name of supporting the PF Party to which most of the marketeers don’t belong ?

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  4. Well articulated, they missed th point, they started thinking kalu was powerful, but real power lies wit th pipo. This propaganda msgs don’t work. Tell pipo wat u will do for them, not how bad yo opponent is. That has proven not to work no matter hw much propaganda, it backfires as is in this case. The untouchable has been touched.

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  5. Congratulation to Kamanga and good luck!!! Zambians… politics did play. I can see Rupiah Banda into this since he is controlling PF (I could be wrong). Great thing is the people have spoken. Won’t be easy for Kamanga. Build on what on progress made. Don’t try to redo the whole thing….you’ll be out before end of term.

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  6. Next to go is Lungu.HH will come out winner in this year of change.Abash hero woshiping we need managers to control this country.

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    • It is [email protected] who hero worships you demigod HH. To you HH is god, is you mesiah is everything .But Zambians just know him as one guy who got rich through selling our companies so there is nothing that he can come and do.

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  7. Let Jay Jay celebrate. UPND turning this political. JAY JAY is some where still in disbelief at this great news lol.

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  8. Paul shalala are you still with deadNBC? my friend keep this article, because come August 2011,you will just edit the names, venues and turn it from sporty to political.

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  9. Paul Shalala good article..back to reality, time to hit the ground running for AK47…we will continue and drink to that..lets support FAZ and the boys!!

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  10. The journalists such as Godfrey Chikumbi and Erick Mwanza were hero worshipping Kalusha.
    Some radio stations like Qfm became they play ground for team Kalusha because the station and its journalists were in good books with team Kalusha. People like Simata Simata were not allowed to appear at this station on Soccer chart to be specific because they were perceived to be anti Kalusha.
    In view of the above, I would like to appeal to AK47 to clean the Faz Secretariat and ensure that smooth handover is done by out going team without destroying any document.

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  11. Kalu had a sense of entitlement to be head of football in Zambia and the dumb community enabled him.
    Am of the belief that whatever he did as a player or administrator he was duly paid his wages, and therefore theirs no need to keep him as life long president at FAZ. Let him get a real job. It’s time to move forward, it’s time for other people to do the job.

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  12. This guy was one year ahead of me in secondary school. He was a very good disciplined student who was quite strict against wrongdoing or bad behaviour in the school. I believe he will make a very good disciplinarian and a good leader. Congratulations, Mr. Kamanga.

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  13. Shalala has made witty analysis of the violent Facebook party (HH) and UPND. This is not about FAZ. Read and analyze dim wits. You can’t campaign on Facebook and expect to win elections

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  14. UuhMN
    Change at Fhouse was long overdue.
    I didn’t like Kalusha’s arrogance towards government and even making it appear as though FIFA was heaven. At the same time Kalusha still expected to dish out taxpayers money to FAZ.
    Ba Kamanga Zambians want good representation in football. Zambia is not just Copperbelt and Lusaka. Talent is all over Zambia. It is not always money but good organisation.

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  15. And please listen to those who speak English too. They may not know how to speak the language of Northern Zambia but they may know how to play football or to contribute towards better ways of running football. The former FAZ made you feel like a foreigner if you did not speak what had unofficially become the “official” language of communication.

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  16. Good analysis, problem in this country is that people like worshiping humans and that is what happened with Great Kalu. I have no time for that. I am giving Kamanga some leeway but if he becomes like Kalu I will be here to condemn him everyday. Anyhow, Congratulations for running an issue based campaign. You are a Zambia based president as opposed to a South African based one.

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  17. The article has been properly written with alot of intelligent analysis. What happened at Moba Hotel should be food for thought for all people who hold elective offices and those who are aspiring for elective offices.

    What happened at Moba can be described in one sentence- DON’T TAKE PEOPLE FOR GRANTED

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  18. I was heartbroken to hear the news but change is necessary in life. I welcome Kamanga and wish him the best. He should build on what was done right as not everything Kalu did was wrong. Bring new ways of management, especially on accountability and do not be vindictive as your victory speech said. Football should be the winner not personalities and where you can use Kalu with his contacts and connections like we saw last week with Kofi Anan, use him for the benefit of Zambian soccer.

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  19. Kwena where are the football results for our shipolopolo vs Namibia kwena. can anyone update me.

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  20. I am waiting to see the resignation from Eric Mwanza. That stupid mouth of kalusha Bwalys who failed to perform at CAF. At CAF one has to perform and not boot lick. These guys are going to suffer because they victimised every one left, right and center.

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