In just 48 hours, the strenuous debate around who takes the nomination for the CAF executive committee membership will be closed. Incumbent Kalusha Bwalya who has served two terms has expressed interest in re-contesting the seat he won while he was FAZ president. He has however hit a brick wall has current FAZ president Andrew Kamanga has also expressed interest and filed his nomination for the seat. What has followed the drama has been a nation bitterly divided on account of their loyalties to the two individuals. Kalusha has pulled every trick in the bag in the last few weeks to get Kamanga to accede to his demands including a meeting with the minister of sports Moses Mawere.
Nothing as yet has come off any of those attempts with even some top ranking government officials dragged in the equation with the Lusaka Province minister Bowman Lusambo taking up the chief cheer leader role. However, government’s possible intervention has been constrained at the lingering squeal of interference that FIFA abhors. It is an act that once too often attracts a ban for government interference. On the one hand Kamanga has stood his ground whipping up his right to contest as incumbent. Questions have lingered on the wisdom of seeking a continental office when domestically things have fallen apart on the pitch with two successive Africa Cup of Nations failures. His critics have urged him to stick to the domestic front and allow his countryman fly the continental flag.
Kamanga has instead thrown in the integrity test card that he knows too well that his predecessor’s flirtation with a FIFA ban disqualifies. However, the big men at CAF do not prescribe that requisite test despite FIFA requiring for anyone aspiring for office. It was on this ground that the Great Kalu withdrew from a FIFA executive committee seat in 2016 which was won by Malawian national Walter Nyamilandu. Tellingly the Great one has never come back to tell the nation how he withdrew from that race. Kamanga insists the integrity test is inscribed in FAZ statutes and will apply it on his adversary. On his part Great Kalu has thrown the last arrow by contacting FAZ executive committee members directly to seek their support on his call for the meeting that the minister told the nation was agreed to by both. However, the Great one has a record of never extending any such courtesies to his adversaries while he was in office.
Whatever the case, the two gentlemen have at least 48 hours to settle their duel or forever hold their peace. May the best candidate fly the Zambian flag!