BOLA BIZ with CHIBULU MUSONDA
THE Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) annual general meeting last Saturday at Government Complex had the Federation of International Football Associations (FIFA) noose around its neck.
Failure to pass the revised FAZ constitution meant FIFA would strangle Zambia out of the international football family.
Thankfully, there was stay of execution on the death sentence. In fact, it was revoked.
The councillors of FAZ voted unanimously to pass the new constitution. Thus the death of Zambian football on the globe was averted.
It not worthy reminding anyone what caused the delay in passing the new statutes as directed by FIFA first a few years back.
That led to various reminders the poignant one on March 18, last year and the final deadline of March 31, 2017.
The unanimous vote which required two thirds of those present to vote for the amendment of the constitution was a sign of the maturity of the FAZ councillors.
The guest of honour, Minister of Youth, Sport and Child Development Moses Mawere, urged the councillors to put personal conflicts aside and consider the plight of millions of Zambians.
And the 309 to 11 votes in favour of passing the new statutes showed that the councillors were united in agreeing with the minister and ensuring that the recent success in Zambian football was not miscarried by abortive decision-making.
This means the Electoral College of FAZ is reduced from 360 plus to 130 with 89 being voting members of the congress.
The voting pattern has been distributed as follows: 20 votes to the Super Division, 20 to Division One and 40 to Division Two and Three while the other nine goes to other members of FAZ such as the association of referees, coaches, schools and the like.
The executive committee which effectively from the end of the meeting was to be referred to as the FAZ board was expanded to 13.
Ten members would be elected from each of the 10 provinces while only the president of FAZ, the vice and one female member would stand and be voted for on a nationwide basis.
The position of treasurer stood abolished with the introduction of the office of a full-time director of finance.
No member of the current executive voted for on March 19, 2016 would lose their seats. All would remain in position until the next election in 2020.
The constitution weeded out contentions on the alleged promotion of gay rights with the document now stating that no one should be discriminated against based on disability on effectively any other status that is allowable under the laws of Zambia.
It was also remarkable to note for the first time that auditors were invited to be present in the FAZ AGM.
FAZ president Andrew Kamanga campaigned on the premise of Football House being transparent and accountability.
The auditors, Thewo and Company, faced the parliament of Zambian football and pointed out irregularities in the finances.
Chief among those were lack of enough information on ticketing sales.
And inevitably, questions arose on the K150, 000 unaccounted-for income that led to, among others, the suspension of now former FAZ vice-president Richard Kazala and executive committee member Blackwell Siwale.
On the suspension of the two, the council decided to deliberate after the National Sports Council of Zambia (NSCZ) had ruled that the matter be tabled. FAZ legal committee members equally sat on the high table and provided guidance on the requirements of the FAZ constitution and how to proceed.
The suspension needed to be confirmed by a vote in a simple majority. The vote was taken and the council voted to confirm the suspension with 257 votes out of the 278 that voted.
After the suspension was confirmed, another vote was taken to consider the expulsion of the two. This vote required two-thirds of those voting to be for it in order for the expulsion to stand.
The vote went 267 against 21. Thus, Kazala and Siwale were expelled.
Earlier, the motion to impeach FAZ president Kamanga failed.
The legal committee dismissed the matter for lack of sufficient notice.
The committee further pointed out that the petitioners needed to obtain two-thirds of FAZ membersâ€™ approval before proceeding with the matter according to the FAZ constitution.
Further, a special general meeting needed to be called for the purpose of removing the FAZ president.
As a matter of procedure, the AGM could therefore not deliberate over the matter.
In his closing remarks, Kamanga regretted the expulsion of the two but hoped that FAZ could now concentrate on football development rather than bickering.
Sighs of relief were everywhere as Zambian football had won again.
BOLA BIZ with CHIBULU MUSONDA