Award Winning Journalists Mike Mubanga Recounts Moba Ordeal On Night Kamanga Was Elected President

One year after Andrew Kamanga defied all the odds to be crowned FAZ president, journalist Mike Mubanga has recounted his experience on the night of the famous victory.

Mubanga opens up a dark side of the Kalusha Bwalya administration that had become notorious for using accreditation to silence journalists.

The Muvi Television award winning scribe was bundled out of Moba Hotel by police officers on instructions from former FAZ communications manager Nkweto Tembwe.

Below is Mubanga’s narrative.

What happened to me on 19 March, 2016?

On March 19th 2016, FAZ held its elective annual general meeting. Initially, I was not supposed to be there because I knew I was not a popular figure in FAZ but due to circumstances, I found my way at Moba Hotel in Kitwe.

I had a chat with Mr. Tembwe since I was meeting him for the second time since the November incident. I asked him why he couldn’t accredit me for games, he explained on one occasion why and on the other in which he claimed that I did not e-mail him the accreditation request.

I must put it on record that I did not request for accreditation for the AGM, but following a sober and progressive discussion with him, I was allowed to cover proceedings.

Although it was a challenge to be cleared by FAZ security once in a while because I had no accreditation card, I would fall back on Mr. Tembwe for clearance.

While voting was underway, I posted on my facebook page a business card for Pivoty Simwanza that stated his title as FAZ vice-president, a card that got my attention.

While I was inside the vote centre, I received the call from Godfrey Chikumbi, a Kalusha supporter asking me to delete the status a suggestion which I denied.

A few minutes later, Mr. Tembwe came in the centre and asked me to follow him to another room, where Chikumbi sat next to another person.

They talked about my post; they talked about how my rigging statement had the potential to tarnish the image of the credible FAZ elections.

They talked about a lot, and after that, I was taken back to the voting room, asked to pack my bags and Mr. Tembwe ordered FAZ security and police officers to escort me outside the gate and never to allow me back. I obliged.

Along the way, I met the veteran sports administrator Simataa and he asked what happened and I told him, but police officers threatened to beat me up if I shared the story with another person.

That was at 22:00hours.

I sat in the drainages along Ndola-Kitwe carriage way thinking of my next move, where would I go, back to Ndola, to go and sleep in Kitwe or wait?

I called my friend Mwansa Kapyanga from Kasama United Youth Academy who came for the elective AGM as a councillor and he told me that he and his colleagues were meeting Nkana treasurer Alex Munasha at After-10 restaurant in Kitwe.

I booked a taxi and joined them, while we followed proceedings from social networking site, Whatsapp.

A police officer from Lusaka (name withheld) discussed my situation with Super Treasurer who then assured me of safety once I came back with the Kasama people but I would have to do one thing, stay in the vehicle until peace was assured. I obliged.

It was not until news of Andrew Kamanga’s win over Kalu broke that I went back in the FAZ AGM venue to cover the meeting.

Police officers who had chased me saw me, and they just smiled when I found my way back to cover the rest of the evening.

At that time, I never saw Mr. Tembwe or any of the FAZ security men that had hounded me out.

In a nutshell, I believe I had a good relationship with Mr. Tembwe and many FAZ officials, but their stance on me regarding accreditation was rather harsh because I did not hate them, I was just a person that was bringing out issues without malice.

I never hated the Kalu administration; I criticized the way some of the activities were run.

I believe I was realistic because saying Kalusha did not do anything for football was going to be complete hatred.

Again, saying Kalusha did immensely well is mediocrity of the highest order that should not be tolerated.

My assessment which did not go down well with most FAZ followers was that in the first years of his presidency, Kalusha worked had to put up the pieces and it is under his executive that Zambia won the coveted Africa Cup of Nations title for the first time. Remarkable.

It is also under this executive that we saw the unprecedented qualification of all age group teams to all major events, including the Costa Rica Under-17 Women’s World Cup in 2014. Success.

However, it is also under his leadership that Zambia had been nose diving from being one of the best teams on the continent to being passengers at tournaments, the Afcon inclusive. Poor.

It is also under his leadership that Zambia had the Nike deal scrapped off because of double dealings at Football House. Extremely poor.

Again, it was under his leadership that the association has been secretive when it came to announcing of match tickets, gate takings and match appearance fees among other deals that border on transparency and accountability.

We have to be realistic and state that the negatives outweigh the positives that the Kalu led FAZ has scored, and if this is hatred, then I do not know the real definition of hate.

My relationship with FAZ was unstable because of my strong criticism of them, and my seemingly accommodating views on the Kamanga camp, who despite being taunted, went on well with their campaigns.

I have no hard feelings against anyone who might have abused their position to get at me, I believe we are one people who love Zambian football so much that we all want to contribute effectively to the beautiful game of football.

I will be doing a review of Andrew Kamanga’s presidency in due course.

Au Revoir!

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