Game on! with BENEDICT TEMBO
EVERYTHING being equal, normalcy should have returned to amateur boxing following the staging of yesterdayâ€™s elective annual general meeting yesterday which should have retained incumbent president.
Thomas Chileshe unopposed. Chileshe is not the best president the Zambia Boxing
Federation (ZBF) has had in recent times.
However, the people who were fostering regime change in the ZBF were not in my view the most intelligent reformers around.
Admitted, Chileshe has had his own challenges in administering amateur boxing in the country.
And those who are seeking his removal are justified except that they threw the ZBF and the International Boxing Association (AIBA) statutes to the winds.
The ZBF is an organisation with its own constitution and is a member of the AIBA.
AIBA does not condone interference in the internal affairs of its affiliates and the machinations by individuals who wanted to remove Chilesheâ€™s executive committee risked Zambia being banned.
Recent activities by people who want to forcibly remove Chileshe from office by levelling false allegations against him breached article 6.2 of the AIBA disciplinary code which discourages inciting hatred or violence.
â€œAny person subject to this code who publicly incites others to violence or hatred will be subject to a fine of CHF 5,000 to 10,000 and may be suspended from all boxing activities for one to four years,â€ the article reads.
There should be a wiser ways of dealing with the ZBF executive and it should start with reforming the constitution first.
The belligerents should advocated for review or update of the ZBF constitution in line with the spirit of the national one having been amended by Parliament and President Lungu signing the same into law.
However, failure to understand the constitution, republic or otherwise, seems to be a very big problem in my country.
That is why most people choose to take short cuts or circumvent the constitution in a bid to appease their personal egos.
As for ZBF, recent upheavals have unfortunately been spawned by some non-members who want to hijack amateur boxing.
Are they tired of running their own stables?
Or who is interfering in the running of their stables the way they are destabilising ZBF?
The AIBA statutes are very clear regarding external interference: The election and appointment processes adopted by each national federation must be approved by AIBA and each federation must prevent any and all external interference in their election and appointment processes.
AIBA states clearly that any person elected or appointed as an officer of the national federation who is not selected in compliance with article 14.1 shall not be recognised by AIBA.
Article 14.3 says decisions passed by bodies that have not been elected or appointed in compliance with article 14.1 shall not be recognised by AIBA.
AIBA further states that if a national federation is disbanded or dissolved, its membership of AIBA shall automatically be cancelled.
So where is the desperation of the supposed ZBF reformers coming from?
If Chileshe indeed received money from boxers corruptly, those with evidence should have reported him to the Anti-Corruption Commission for investigation and subsequent prosecution.
It should not have taken respected managers of some stables who seem to have unfinished business with Chileshe by peddling the ill-fated petition and malice.
What was also surprising was the attempt by the reformers to bring back a former official who was suspended indefinitely from all ZBF and its related boxing activities on July 26, 2012.
Did it have to get to this?
Like I said, if they really needed the services of the banned official, they should have first asked him to begin the process of appeal from ZBF to the National Sports Council of Zambia and maybe up to the Minister of Sport, Youth and Child Development.
After his reprieve (assuming he was going to be pardoned for serving the ban for four years now and showing remorse), that is when they should have raised their attempt to remove Chileshe and team.
However, that is now water under the bridge and they have to wait for another four years to plan the ouster of Chileshe from office (if he will seek re-election).
Now that the AGM has been abruptly been postponed, there must be adopt a reconciliatory approach.
Chileshe must take note of his criticsâ€™ observation about his style of administration.
He should as a matter of urgency convene an extraordinary meeting where members will freely express themselves and help him plan for the sport.
Chileshe should, in consultation with affiliates, come up with a master plan that will salvage boxing by bringing back clubs that brought glory to Zambia.
He should have the courage to meet former and new sponsors to help him take boxing to the next level.
For instance, I do not believe that Konkola Copper Mines, which sponsors three Premier Division teams, cannot afford to support a boxing club.
Just as I do not believe that Maamba Collieries Limited, who are making souring business from coal, have refused to sponsor its boxing club.
ZBF has allies in Zambia Police Service and other defence and security wings to help them take boxing to all the districts.
What is missing is a blue-print to which these institutions may buy in.
For comments: bt@daIÂ¬ly-mail.co.zm,0974-950753
Game on! with BENEDICT TEMBO