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Wed, 06/11/2019 - 18:07

Affected: The Secondary School Volleyball Teams



The 2018/2019 Presidential Initiative on Sports (P.I.S) games which are supposed to be played by secondary school pupils (both boys and girls), still hang in balance in all three regions.

Volleyball Association of Malawi (VAM) which receives the P.I.S money from National Sports Council disbursed the same to all the three regional Leagues in August, 2018. We have found out that so far the future for program still remains blurred.

P.I.S was a brainchild of the Malawi's former head of state in April, 2008, late President Bingu Wa Mutharika with the hope to improve sports and fill the gap created by shortage of sponsors, especially from the corporate world in the country.

The Government, use Ministry Of Sports to primarily promote and develop sports in the country and all (about 22 associations) the affiliated sports code to the Malawi National Council of Sports (MNCS) benefit from the fund. Volleyball is among the least supported code with only Mk1,000,000.00.

Each of the three; Northern, Central and Southern Volleyball Leagues get MK300,000.00 from the MK1,000,000.00 Volleyball gets for PIS money and VAM keeps MK100,000.00

It is reported that Northern Region Volleyball League (NRVL) had set up a subcommittee headed by the vice Chairperson Ronald Mwale. The other members were Ruth ‘Madala’ Kasambara and Chimwemwe ‘Kush’ Msowoya. Our findings show that Sub-Committee did nothing.

We caught up with the General Secretary, Daniel Mwakasoka, who referred us to the Vice Chairperson, who likewise, pushed us to the Chairperson.

NRVL Chairperson, Kafumu Nkhoma, said they plan to have the games in mid-November.

“We just want to finish Raiply National tournament. Then towards the mid-November, before schools start writing examinations, we shall have the games played," he assured.

By the look of things, the story is no different for Central Region Volleyball League (CRVL) as not much has been done. We engaged the General Secretary, Dr. Tarsizio Chikaonda in early August, 2019 and he said they plan to undertake skills development and provide materials.

“The plan is to undertake skills development in schools and provide materials such as balls and nets using the funds. We are developing a schedule to engage the schools starting from next term (First term which usually runs from end September to early December),” he revealed.

This has excited the secondary school teacher and a volleyball coach, Henry Noniwa from Mseche Community Day Secondary School. Though he has some reservations.

“Of course it is a good plan, though we don't know how serious they are because it is easily said than done but it is a good move”, he said.

Southern Region Volleyball League (SRVL) is at the middle of nowhere as far as P.I.S is concerned. They have let grass grow under their feet.

We caught up with the incumbent SRVL General Secretary, Charles Msusa who expressed ignorance.

“I do not know anything about that. Who was championing?, he querried. “May be they (former Committee) will include that information in their handover notes’, he added.

We tried to follow up with the former General Secretary, Martin Hausi on the progress of the games. He did not pick up the calls, never returned the calls and only ‘blue ticked’ us on whatsapp. This is the same ‘feedback’ he gave in our earlier article about the games. Its reported that Hausi is the one who received the money from VAM through his account.

Unfortunately, we found out that since the SRVL Committee elections on 14th July, 2019 at Malawi College of Health Sciences- Blantyre Campus, there has never been a handover ceremony. The current SRVL Committee had set a date for handovers, but the former Committee through Hausi, is reported that had refused. It is also reported that Hausi, said his colleagues are not around to do the handovers.

Therefore, this means VAM has not also reported to MNCS on the fund they got. MNCS through the Sports Development Officer, Ruth Mzengo warned that any Association that do not provide reports on the past P.I.S funds they get, shall get their comeuppance. The MNCS letter titled ‘suspension of Presidential Initiative on Sports’ dated 20th September, 2019 to all Associations, it stated that it has taken the action because Associations have been undermining a requirement to submit the reports. MNCS also wrote the Associations through emails on 1st August, 2019 calling the Associations to submit narrative and financial report for the year 2018/2019. By this it means Volleyball may not receive the 2019/2020 P.I.S funds. Mzengo is quoted saying, “In the absence of the reports, we would not have fair and comprehensive evaluation of the previous events as regards achievements, challenges and recommendations to improve implementation of the programme and determine their financial prudence.”

VAM General Secretary, Jairos Nkhoma confirmed that they have not received any report on 2018/2019 P.I.S games from the Leagues.

“We have not received any official report with regards to 2018/2019 P.I.S games from the Leagues since we released the funds last year to them", said Nkhoma.

The development has worried Noniwa, who still has fond memories of P.I.S games when he was at Kamuzu Barracks Secondary School.

"The students have lost interest in Volleyball. The absence of such grassroots volleyball games negatively affects the transition from youth teams to senior teams in that senior teams are unable to receive or spot new players", Noniwa, complained.

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