MATHEWS NDANDULA writes
THE Zambia Athletics (ZA) executive mandate is set to end on October 1 but with the current uncertainties around public gatherings, due to the deadly coronavirus, no date has been set to hold the elective annual general meeting (AGM).
In an interview, the current ZA president said the date of elections is not yet set and so the executive was currently monitoring the situation to better assess the situation.
“There is Covid-19, where are we going to find money? We need money for those elections we need to pray to God that covid-19 reduces in our country. If we need to meet it will not be in such a way … elections require money, if we have to meet and observe social distance to vote, if that comes to pass we still can’t do it because even that requires logistics.
Mpondela then took a swipe at people that have accused him of wanting to cling to the ZA presidency, saying that he had already proven himself as a leader while others had no interest in advancing the sport.
“Those people, the lonely voices that speak they’re not Zambia Athletics. In ZA there is full understanding because in there we are on Zoom discussing. Google meetings we have done it twice now in fact. I don’t even go looking for votes I think votes look for me,” he said.
Mpondela has been at the helm of the athletics body since 1998, prior to which he held the position of vice president from 1994 – 1997.
He argued that people should not just say he has over stayed in office instead they should look at the success during his term of office and accused his detractors of only being interested in money.
“The federation believes in it’s affiliates. They deserve this money so those little voices, small minded people with selfish voices could have wanted to take that money to themselves. Why are they saying that I am trying to bribe affiliates with this money? Because every time we raise money from the Intercompany we give grants every year” he said.
“The voices that are speaking like that of Jonathan Chipalo, the voice of Samuel Matete and all these are not our members. Their voices have always existed. They exist outside and they make noise to bring ZA down but they have failed because ZA performs under my leadership … they were part of us but left we didn’t chase them they chased themselves,” he said.
He boasted that so far, Zambia Athletics is the only sports federation with updated financial reports up to the year 2019 with only 2020 remaining to be audited.