Football icon Kalusha Bwalya has lodged an appeal against the decision of the Ethics Committee at the Football Association of Zambia to bar him from contesting the football body’s presidency at the March 28 elective Annual General Meeting.
This decision was communicated by the Electoral Committee of FAZ after Kalusha allegedly failed the integrity test.
The former FAZ president has raised preliminary issues in the matter and wants the Appeals Committee to determine whether or not the failure by the Ethics committee to furnish him with reasons for the purported failure of the integrity check is in violation of FIFA’s Article 74 of the FIFA Code of Ethics on transparency given that Article 60 of the FAZ constitution requires that the Code of Ethics of FAZ be in accordance with the principle as laid down in the valid FIFA Code of Ethics.
Lewis Nathan Advocates and Gilbert Phiri of PNP Advocates, who are acting on behalf of Kalusha, wrote a letter dated February 17, 2020, duly signed by the lawyers, addressed to the FAZ Appeals Committee at the Football House.
They stated that they were acting for Kalusha regarding the matter of appeal emanating from the FAZ Ethics Committee and communicated to their client by the Electoral Committee and that their interest should be noted.
“We humbly lodge in the appellant’s appeal together with bundles of documents on which the appellant shall place reliance,” stated the letter also copied to PNP Advocates.
The lawyers requested that while Kalusha places reliance on the appeal as filed, they wish to augment the appeal and the preliminary issues raised with viva voce submissions and hoped that they shall be accorded the opportunity.
And the lawyers stated that Kalusha on February 6 successfully filed in his nomination for the position of FAZ president and submitted the candidate nomination form.
They stated that he also filed in a questionnaire which forms part of FAZ Electoral Code 2020 Edition, adding that he filed all the requirements for an integrity check in accordance with FAZ statutes.
The lawyers stated that it is important to stress that the Electoral Code 2020 Edition was adopted on February 1, 2020 at the FAZ Emergency General Meeting.
However, Kalusha has raised preliminary issues, which he says are foundational which if properly and fairly determined will annul the decision to bar.
In the preliminary issues, Kalusha’s lawyers want the Appeals Committee to determine among other questions whether or not, the Ethics Committee was properly constituted given that no evidence exists of its members having undergone mandatory integrity checks by the Audit and Compliance Committee prior to their appointment as required by Article 58 (3) of the FAZ constitution.
The lawyers also want the Appeals Committee to determine whether or not the failure by the committee to furnish Kalusha with reasons for the purported failure of the integrity check is in violation of FIFA’s Article 74 of the FIFA Code of Ethics on transparency given that Article 60 of the FAZ constitution requires that the Code of Ethics of FAZ be in accordance with the principle as laid down in the valid FIFA Code of Ethics.
And Kalusha’s lawyers stated that they have tendered nine grounds of appeal in the unlikely event that the Appeals Committee do not uphold the preliminary issues.
In it’s grounds of appeal, Kalusha stated that the Ethics Committee misdirected itself in law and fact when it convened to carry out integrity checks of electoral candidates for various positions at FAZ when all its members had not undergone integrity checks by the Audit and Compliance Committee as required by Article 58 (3) of the FAZ constitution.
On this ground, Kalusha argues that it is a requirement under Article 12 (e) of the FAZ constitution for members to be informed of the affairs of FAZ through the officials bodies of FAZ and at no time were members ever informed of the integrity checks on members of the Ethics Committee.
Kalusha has urged the Committee to uphold the ground of appeal whose effect will be to set aside the decision of the Ethics Committee to bar him from contesting the presidency position as it is wanting in authority and jurisdiction at the time of rendering its decision.
They have also argued that the Committee misdirected itself when it did not hear Kalusha during the integrity checks and before it announced its verdict as this action is contrary to the provisions of Article 71,74 and 75 of the FIFA Code of Ethics whose principle is applicable as the FAZ Code of Ethics, if it was in existence, would have been expected to follow.
He added that rules of natural justice exist to check against blatant discrimination of rights of individuals.
Kalusha further submitted that the Ethics Committee erred both in law and fact when it purported to conduct integrity checks without the yardstick of the FAZ Code of Ethics as the same does not exist contrary to Article 60 of the FAZ constitution.
Richard Kazala and Suzyo Zimba are two others whose nominations for the FAZ presidency were rejected.
Successful candidates are current FAZ president Andrew Kamanga, former FAZ vice-president Emmanuel Munaile and soccer administrator Joseph Nkole.
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