Zambia faces a possible ban from international football due to constant and incessant harassment of the President of the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) by the country’s Minister of Sport Emmanuel Mulenga.
FIFA issued a veiled threat to Zambia that they face a possible ban unless Minister Mulenga stopped interfering in the affairs of FAZ after he stopped the football federation from hiring a coach of their choice and ordering them to re-open applications and has generally been questioning every football decision that they took.
Last week, following a lengthy process, FAZ agreed on employing the well-travelled Milutin Sredojevic, an appointment that was nearly scuppered by the self-same Mulenga until there was a howl of protest countrywide from football supporters that Micho was the right choice, it was then that the Minister relented.
However, but, just when everybody thought that the Minister’s dressing-down from FIFA has knocked some sense into him, that all was quiet on the Lusaka front, along comes Minister Mulenga with an outlandish if not bizarre phantom plot to have Kamanga arrested for alleged “theft.”
Mulenga, working in cahoots with the Minister of Home Affairs Steven Kampyongo, allegedly claim during a break-in at the FAZ offices a few months ago, a computer saver was stolen and the culprit according to their fantastic minds, is none other than Kamanga!
The duo ordered Lusaka police to arrest Kamanga for theft and this is clearly not just plain harassment but a clear case of defamation of character and a serious attempt to employ dirty and underhand tactics to dethrone Kamanga from a seat he rightfully won when he beat legendary Kalusha Bwalya in a free and fair election four years ago.
There are allegations that the reason why Mulenga and other Minister are hell-bent on getting rid of Kamanga is because they tried to twist his arms in order that he should reverse amendments to the constitution to suit a candidate they want to run Zambian football.
The Minister is believed to be upset with Kamanga and his executive committee for amending the constitution and introducing an Integrity committee which every candidate wishing to run for office must first be vetted by that committee.
So apparently the Minister is concerned that his preferred candidate might not pass the integrity test and hence the constant harassment of the FAZ President in an attempt to hound him out of office, sadly they have now alerted FIFA of their interference in the running of Zambian football and there can only be one result – suspension.