ALEX NJOVU, Lusaka
NATIONAL boxing team coach Kennedy Kanyanta has come to the defence of Zambia Boxing Federation (ZBF) president Thomas Chileshe, who has been accused of corruption.
The National Sports Council of Zambia (NSCZ) has summoned Chileshe over corruption allegations raised by the Midlands Amateur Boxing Association (MABA) and Copperbelt Amateur Boxing Association (CABA).
The two associations have accused Chileshe of receiving K400 from all the seven boxers that travelled to Congo-Brazzaville for the 2015 All-Africa Games.
Kanyanta, who has since resigned from his position to show support to Chileshe, said the boxers and other members of the technical team unanimously agreed to give the ZBF president K400 each.
â€œI have resigned. The only thing remaining is for me to write a letter of my resignation. I have been frustrated a lot. In the first place, it is not true that Zambia Boxing Federation president Thomas Chileshe demanded for K400 from each boxer who went to the All-Africa Games in Congo-Brazzaville.
â€œWe willingly gave the president [Thomas Chileshe] the money; he did not ask for it. In fact it is me [Kanyanta], who initiated the plan. I asked the team to contribute K400 each to give our president for his effort in preparing the team for the games in Congo,â€ said the 2002 Commonwealth Games gold medallist.
Kanyanta said Chileshe used his personal money in securing visas for the team when they travelled to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) for a boxing tournament last July.
â€œPeople have forgotten that we slept on a bus in Chililabombwe when we were travelling to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) for a tournament because there was no money. The president [Thomas Chileshe] used his personal money to secure the team visas. This was not the first trip that he was using his pocket money to bail out the team. What is wrong then for us as a group to show appreciation for his commitment?â€ he asked.
Kanyanta advised Chilesheâ€™s opponents to use the right channel to get to the top of the ZBF leadership.
â€œThey must just campaign and give the people their manifesto instead of using us. Do they know what corruption is? As far as we are concerned, Thomas Chileshe is not corrupt; he is a clean man. Those that are accusing him of being corrupt have another agenda.
â€œThey must not use us to get into the leadership of the federation. What is wrong in showing appreciation to someone who has been very good? These are things that people do in daily life; they say thank you to people who have done something good to them,â€ he said.
ALEX NJOVU, Lusaka