RACE TO FOOTBALL HOUSE IS NOW THE BATTLE OF THE MLATHUZI RIVER AND BATTLE AT WATERLOO
Today expect a lot in the FAZ shenanigans. There shall be clamour and commotion not only because it’s a Friday but because we are not in the end-game of this chess match and the protagonists now need to bare their knuckles, knuckle down to graft and bring their A-game. There will be serious insinuations and innuendos flying around as each camp gears up for the final battle in the war of taking Football House.
Today’s battle reminds us of the Battle of the Mlathuzi River when The Zulu people prevailed in battle, led by military commander Shaka, against the Ndwandwe tribes in 1820. Shaka’s superior tactics led his people to victory. When the Ndwandwe attack came, he waited until about half were on each side of the river, effectively splitting the attackers into two separate groups which allowed a Zulu victory. He ironically allowed his enemies to use the cow-horn formation then butchered them. We have the modern day Ngoni Warrior in Andrew Kamanga who needs to summon all the sinewy and spiritual powers passed down from century old ancestors such as Shaka The Zulu, Zwangendaba and Senzangakona … while King Kalu will invoke the revolutionary spirit of Mufulira that has seen many great leaders such as Kenneth Kaunda, Lawrence Katilungu, Dauti Yamba, Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe and even Harry Mwanga Nkhumbula and some of the country’s greatest players like Charles Musonda, Efford David Chabala, Samuel ‘Zoom’ Ndhlovu, Paul Chellah, Gibby Mbasela, Bernard ‘the Bomber’ Chanda, Dick Chama, Dickson ‘Barbed Wire’ Makwaza and Ashious Melu horn their skills and perfect their art in that town.
So fasten your bests because this one is 12 rounds and it will go the full distance. There shall be serious punches from both sides and some knock downs but none will be fatal for the meantime.
Many times when I predict what will happen both in the Kalusha side and Kamanga side and it happens like I envisaged. Then I am accused of belonging to this group of the other. The truth is that when you start doing these write-ups, data comes freely. People volunteer the data. But then again, I am not an introvert. I am people person. I mix. So I am able to get information I need at the right time. People have data guys, and they want it out. So don’t get annoyed when I publish authentic data and it is bad for your preferred candidates case.
If I seem to side more with camp A it means they give me more data when I ask and it means Camp B may not be sharing data. Maybe Camp B, prefers having supporters who insult all day everywhere instead of strategy. Maybe they actually have enough publicists and should be fine but are just using the wrong strategies. Maybe they don’t share data with those who can help reach the masses or share it with people who know packaging better. So how then do they want others to present their side in good light without the requisite data?
So how I predict things correctly is I put myself in the shoes of the two main protagonists: the incumbent and the contender. I ignore the pretenders. Let us try it together.
So if I were in the Kalusha Camp today what would I do?
1. I would claim that the Kamanga Executive’s term has expired. I will quote Art 33.3 which says “The President shall be elected by the Annual General Meeting for a period of four (4) years” and 33.4 which says that “The Vice President and members of the Executive Committee shall be elected by the Annual General Meeting for a period of four (4) years” respectively. I wouldn’t look at Transitory Provisions (found on page 36) especially articles 3 and 5. I won’t look at Article 79 either because those two will show that the Kamanga ExComm still has legitimacy and a mandate beyond last night.
2. I would rush to the courts and then get an injunction against the Kamanga Executive to stop it from functioning. After the injunction, I would get contempt proceedings the moment the executive does anything looking like decision-making or work.
3. I would get Zambia banned by FIFA – ukufilila munsenga – so that later a Normalisation Committee is appointed by FIFA and we start afresh and possibly participate in the elections or at least we remove the opponent from Football House, even if it’s just for now.
4. I would get the Kamanga crew busy running from court to court.
Conversely, if I was in the Kamanga camp, I would do the following:
1. Send the written submissions to the Ndola High Court in support of the application for the vacation of the ExParte Order, defense against contempt charges and the substantive case of the High Court Lacking jurisdiction to hear the case. I would submit that early today to meet the deadline as ruled yesterday.
2. Respect the refusal by the High Court to stay the order and expectedly postponing the FAZ AGM from 28th to a date to be determine. Therefore also avoid holding all provincial elections and the AGM until case is determined since the courts have stayed the elections.
3. With COVID-19 causing havoc, I would postpone the elections indefinitely based on the health concerns of holding the elections so that FIFA doesn’t come hard on us because of the court order. Respecting the court order in the eyes of FIFA means bowing to government pressure which is “political interference”. Courts are power of government. Any action on the courts forcing FAZ to do something is seen as political interference the same way as the executive arm of government. Consequently, I would postpone the elections indefinitely in line with Article 79 of the 2019 FAZ Constitution (as amended in 2019) as well as Transitory Provisions article 3. The postponement renders the court process irrelevant or at least academic in terms of effect on the dates of the elections but allows the FAZ to respect the local courts while not getting ban from FIFA as the basis for postponement is now COVID-19 and not courts. FAZ yesterday postponed the Zambia Super League. Even the AGM can now be postponed. Then I would work to be ready for the other camp to challenge any decisions made today onwards asking courts to interpret the FAZ constitutions and render validity of the decisions as not ultra vires. (Ultra vires is a Latin phrase meaning “beyond the powers”. An act which requires legal authority but is done without it, is characterised in law as ultra vires. Its opposite, an act done under proper authority, is intra vires.) This could go on for months. Only the CAS will settle this issue when both camps know whether Kalusha has been allowed to stand or not.
4. I would make sure that there is no FIFA ban since the mandate of the Kamanga executive would remain valid until the very next elections. Many elections have been postponed around the world because of the virus and FIFA would understand. (I attach a picture of the list of elections postponed due to COVID-19 from around the world.)
Let me just give meat to the articles I have mentioned above: Article 3 of the Transitory Provisions reads: “All provisions of these Statutes shall become enforceable immediately upon its adoption though the Executive Committee shall have the discretion to make such modifications, adaptations, and exceptions as may be necessary to bring all the provisions of these Statutes into effect. In particular, the Executive Committee shall only be allowed to exercise its discretion in relation to the provisions of these Statutes that shall be impractical to immediately implement pending setting up of the appropriate structures as provided by these statutes.” The above gives the Executive Committee powers to take actions based on their discretions when things become impractical. The AGM is now impractical with COVID-19 and this article allows postponement of the said elective AGM.
Postponing of the AGM can also be legally done under Article 79 of the 2019 FAZ Constitution (as amended in 2019) which provides for powers of the Executive Committee in the face of force majeure or unforeseen contingencies. Article 79: Unforeseen Contingencies and Force Majeure, found in PART VIII: FINAL PROVISIONS, reads: “The Executive Committee shall have the power to decide on all cases of force majeure and on al matters not provided for in these statutes, such decisions to be made according to the rules of justice, taking into account the relevant regulations of FIFA and CAF.”
Meanwhile, my argument on the issue of the term of office is very simple. The view that Kamanga’s term ended last night due to Article 33.3 and 33.4 is the simplistic way of reading the constitution where you say 4 years and then you check the calendar and end there. However, when articles are read with other provisions, the situation suddenly changes. I submit that the constitution of FAZ, the FAZ Council sitting during the EGM in January 2020 and FIFA when approving the 2020 FAZ Elections Road-map (letter attached for reference) all mandated the current executive to go on beyond 19th March by sanctioning elections on 28th March 2020 when elections end are to end with presidential elections. In this case, since elections have been further delayed to whatever date the presidential elections, Kamanga’s executive still retain legitimacy and mandate. Let me remind the readers that the “Kamanga Executive” was voted for under the old constitution which was valid in 2016. Right now we are holding elections under the 2017 constitution. When one reads transitory provisions in the current constitution, one sees how to handle a period such as this one when we are between two constitutions. Since the tenure of office has already been established, lets look at article 5 of the 2017 FAZ Constitution (as amended in 2019) Transitory Provisions which can be found on page 36 (last page) of the constitution. It reads: “These Statutes do not affect the composition of the Executive Committee, and any person holding an office in the Executive Committee shall continue to serve as such for the unexpired term of that office as stipulated by the Statutes OR UNTIL THE NEXT ELECTIVE AGM. End of Quote. The capitalisation is mine for emphasis but those saying the term ended last night neglected to look at this whole provision. They only looked at the words before “OR”. This means that if there is a delay in elections, whether due to COVID-19, courts, NSCZ or FIFA, the Kamanga executive remains in office until the day the AGM is finally held.
Further Article 38.5 of the FAZ constitution says that: “The President shall preside over the AGM, the EGM and the Executive Committee and Emergency Committee meetings and those committees of which he has been appointed chairman.” In this case, this provision as applied to the elective AGM cannot be met if the tenure of the president was to end last night. The law only allows the FAZ Vice President as the alternative chairperson. All stories referring to the secretariat replacing the Executive Committee in running the AGM are false as that is not backed by the constitution. We are a nation of laws and men of laws. And laws do not favour power vacuums. So in such a case, naturally the law would favour having the executive stay long enough to handle elections.
Of course there is Nkole and Munaile standing for elections. Munaile is eloquent but not charismatic and doesnt pull people to him despite having had a good education, a successful football career and even a good political career. Nkole is seen more like a surrogate so not many are taking him seriously. In the end it looks like a battle of wits where if Kalusha is allowed back on the ballot by the Court of Arbitration, then it is a two-horse race. If not, Kamanga sails through easily.
Now talking of the Court of Arbitration, I have gathered that FAZ didn’t pay their half of the CH22,000 arbitration fees as it was not budgeted for. This means that the only way this case can take off is if Kalusha decides to pay the whole amount alone which is basically 379,334.65 Zambian Kwacha cash money just to be heard with no guarantee he will be on the ballot when the final decision of CAS is made. Based on the deadline given, it means Kalusha must have already paid this cash on Monday this week. Adding the legal cost, it is a princely sum of dough to cough by the King himself.
With the above scenario, today expect some new court cases from the King’s side and also some gymnastics from the Ngoni warriors side through some assegais flying around with drums beating and bells tolling for effect. It should be easy to see how the Battle of Mlathuzi River will pan out starting today. But will the Ngoni(Zulu) warrior kamanga stay put and allow his opponent to use the cow-horn formation (just like at the battle of Mlathuzi) and then attack each horn with much easy that if the two were one force? As Dennis Liwewe used to say: “Let’s wait and see.”
In the end, we know that this Battle of Mlathuzi will become the Battle at Waterloo. The Battle of Waterloo, in which the French army under the command of Napoleon Bonaparte were defeated by the British and Prussians, marked the end of his reign and of France’s domination in Europe. The Battle of Waterloo was fought on Sunday, 18 June 1815 near Waterloo in Belgium, part of the United Kingdom of the Netherlands at the time. The battle marked the end of the Napoleonic Wars. From that time, when you lose your final battle, you are said to have met your Waterloo. Will the Ngoni warrior lose this battle of Waterloo or will King Kalu finally meet his Waterloo and go into oblivion from the local football political scene?
Chizawina pali Kalu na Kamanga tizambo chiyitana ati: CHAMU LAST!
THE NKANA OF 2014 – A RONALD ‘SATE-SATE ‘ KAMPAMBA STORY
In 2013 Nkana finally won their 12th Zambia Super League title something that had beenRead More
FAZ Elections- Women’s league representatives: A look at Queens Academy Proprietor
Women’s football in Zambia has improved in the recent past as evidenced by the qualificationRead More