FOOTBALL Association of Zambia (FAZ) president, Kalusha Bwalya has hinted that he will only have one more crack at the top seat before vacating the local job.
Kalusha has already briefed members of his executive committee that he will be seeking his third and last term next year and then leave the Football House reigns in 2020.
In a statement released by committee member, Pivoty Simwanza in Ndola yesterday, Kalusha briefed his executive about his intentions to go for one last term in office.
FAZ communications manager, Nkweto Tembwe also said during a media briefing yesterday that Kalusha had other ambitions outside Football House and that he had no plans of making himself a life president.
Simwanza said it was therefore folly for certain members of the football family to suggest that FAZ wanted to instal Kalusha as its life president because there were no such plans.
“Kalusha will contest the 2016 elections and if he wins, it will be his last term in office before he leaves in 2020. Everyone in FAZ knows this fact. So where is the life presidency issue coming from?,” Simwanza asked.
He also parried claims that FAZ intended to hold a meeting in September where Kalusha would be endorsed as life president, saying those people peddling lies should stop and instead tell the councillors what they intended to do to develop Zambian football if elected into office.
“People who are seeking office or new mandates in FAZ should just tell the councillors of their intentions instead of just spreading lies. Let them say what they have done or intend to do to improve the sport. There is no truth in what some people who are going round saying Kalu for life president,” Simwanza said.
He further claimed there were some innuendos being perpetuated by some people that Kalusha’s executive wanted to throw away Division Two and Three leagues from the association’s structures.
Simwanza said Kalusha enjoyed massive support from the lower ranks and that there was no way he could banish his stronghold.
He also reaffirmed Football House’s commitment to maintain the current FAZ electoral college, saying any amendments could only be done by the new executive to be ushered into office next year.
The FAZ executive member said currently, some Football House secretariat staff were busy going round the country sensitising lower division teams on online registration which could help in reducing costs of running clubs.
Simwanza said FAZ had no time to waste but was exerting its energies towards developing football at all levels including plans to introduce a second cup competition which would also carter for lower division teams.
He appealed to FAZ councillors to give Kalusha one last chance to govern the local sport as he had good plans for Zambian football.
Simwanza said Zambians should show the 1988 African Footballer of the Year some gratitude and take a leaf from the Southern African region which backed him unchallenged for his re-election in the CAF executive committee earlier this month.
“From the days of Anchor House (former FAZ offices) to now Football House, people should just compare how the local sport has been transformed.
There were those days when all national teams used to share the same kit but the situation is different now.
Even secretariat staff are paid their salaries by FAZ and can even be assisted to get loans,” he said.
During yesterday’s briefing at Football House in Lusaka, Tembwe told journalists that Kalusha had no intention to make himself life president as suggested by certain stakeholders.
“It should be noted, however, that our president has never and will never advocate for a life Presidency. It should be borne in mind that Kalusha Bwalya has other ambitions outside being FAZ president,” Tembwe said.
He said FAZ has noted with displeasure the alarming falsities being peddled against the association and its leadership.
Some stakeholders have unfairly accused Kalusha of attempting to abrogate the provisions of the constitution for personal gain.
Tembwe said these allegations were not only false but a product of people who lack understanding of the provisions of the rules and regulations which govern football regarding to the presidency of the association.
“Regards the presidency of the association, we wish to remind stakeholders that the constitution of FAZ in its current form allows a candidate to contest this position with limitless terms.
In addition, it is worth noting that the position of president like any other position in the executive committee goes to the candidate who wins an election through popular vote in a transparent democratic process,” Tembwe explained.
He added that it was mind-boggling to learn that some stakeholders who are privileged make absurd allegations when the FAZ constitution was a public document which was last amended in 2006 during the reign of Teddy Mulonga.
Meanwhile, on allegations that Simwanza was donating various football items to clubs to win their votes at next year’s FAZ elections, the Ndola-based administrator said: “This has been my trend since 2002 when I first came to FAZ.
“This is what I love to do always. I enjoy to share with less privileged clubs. I don’t need to buy anyone for me to win an election. Mind you I don’t even clamour for international trips but I have spent most of my time at home.”