Zambia: Corrupt Kalusha Arm-Twisting Kamanga to Issue FIFA Nomination Amid Criminal Investigations

Zambia Reports Lusaka Peter Adamu
Displayed with permission from allAfrica.com

Self-confessed venal Kalusha Bwalya is arm twisting the FAZ executive committee to issue him with a letter of endorsement to contest the FIFA Committee Member Election at next year’s Congress even when he is still being investigated for obtaining money by false pretense.

Kalusha, using his operatives in the FAZ executive committee, has mounted pressure on his successor Andrew Kamanga to also disregard a decision by the regional body COSAFA and issue a letter to endorse his candidature.

A rift is now brewing in the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) executive committee over the nomination of Kalusha with some members warning they may be held responsible for undermining the authority of an investigative agency such as the Anti Corruption Commission.

Kalusha is on record confessing he pocked over US $80, 000 from disgraced Qatari billionaire Mohammed Bin Hamman which was said to be a bribe. The bribe was part of money Hammam was dishing out for both his failed FIFA presidential bid and his country’s World Cup 2022 hosting campaign.

The former FAZ president had claimed the money given to him was « inkongole » debt to clear bills for the association. Financial records at FAZ show the funds were not remitted to the association but Kalusha’s personal bank account.

With such a record, Kalusha may have challenges passing an integrity test which he will be subjected to. The 1988-African Footballer of The Year ran both a corrupt and debt ridden FAZ when he was at the helm of the association for 8 years until being dislodged early this year.

Meanwhile, bolazambia reports that World football governing body, FIFA, will be having executive committee elections next March and the southern African region is supposed to float one person to contest the polls.

At a meeting two weeks ago in Johannesburg, the region’s football body, COSAFA, resolved to abide by the principle of « one position per person in COSAFA, Confederation of African Football (CAF) and FIFA.

The meeting which was attended by 10 out of the 14 COSAFA members further agreed that no single person can hold more than one position in the aforementioned football bodies.

Bwalya is currently a member of the CAF executive committee.

Sources at the COSAFA secretariat have disclosed that Bwalya’s name did not even come up for possible consideration from the regional body.

« Kalusha’s name was not proposed for endorsement to FIFA as the 14 serving presidents from the COSAFA region are equally eligible to stand, » the sources said.

« It will not do for COSAFA to endorse a candidate who is not running a country’s football association. His position is further compromised by the new principle of one person per position since he is already representing Zambia in CAF. »

But while COSAFA has unanimously settled for a named sitting president of a country’s football association from the region to contest the FIFA election, Bwalya who is a former FAZ president, is pushing hard for Zambia to float his candidature as well.

Sources say while FAZ president Andrew Kamanga and the association are bound by the COSAFA resolutions, Bwalya is now scheming hard for the association to write him a nomination letter as required by FIFA for his candidature to be valid.

Kamanga was not immediately available for a comment but sources at FAZ indicated that Bwalya is working with FAZ vice president Richard Kazala and some committee members to arm-twist Kamanga and pressure him into signing the letter.

« He is panicking. He is now using people like Kazala who doesn’t seem to be reasoning that in these matters, once organisations like COSAFA make a resolution, it does not appear well for any of their member associations to go against such resolutions, » a source said.

The deadline for nominations for the FIFA position is November 15.

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