Lusaka Province Minister and Kabushi Member of Parliament Bowman Lusambo has described the Integrity Test used by the Football Association of Zambia to screen candidates for the Post of President as a sham process devoid of natural justice.
Reacting to news that Former FAZ President and Football Icon Kalusha Bwalya will not be among those contesting for FAZ’s top Job, Mr. Lusambo said that the Ethics Committee was birthed by personal hatred and the process was now being used to fix individuals while perpetuating the continued stay of others at the apex of our game.
During the week, Football Icon Kalusha Bwalya’s comeback to Football Administration has suffered a setback after failing the integrity test after the FAZ Ethics Committee ruled that only three Candidates, Emmanuel Munaile, Joseph Nkole, and Andrew Kamanga are eligible to contest the Elections out of the Seven that filed in their nominations.
Speaking during a press briefing, FAZ Electoral Committee Chairperson Ronald Hatanga said the Ethics Committee has been transparent, and that those that have failed the test, have up to February 17, to appeal.
Hatanga who was in the company of the Vice-Chairperson Mwape Chileshe said that the ethics committee was guided by the constitution during the vetting process which leads to the final list of Candidates.
And but Football Icon Kalusha Bwalya has described the pronouncements by FAZ Ethics Committee as null and void. Speaking during a press briefing, Bwalya said he is qualified and will contest the election.
Below is Mr Lusambo’s full Statement
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.
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 it’s rulings. Football House does not have any room for police officers or judges because it’s not a Police station neither is it a Court room.
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 process would have been found wanting.
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 characterized 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.
My call is for all genuine football lovers to rise and defend our game from these Serial Killers before they struck 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.
As a nation, we have invested heavily in football. The nation lost its gallant sons in 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.
It should be stated unequivocally that the government owes the football family an explanation on what the rescue plan is from the abys we currently find ourselves in. As the biggest investor in the game, sponsoring majority of the football clubs including the national teams, the state should explain how it will put to a stop to the rapid mutilation of our game by selfish individuals.