Sports minister Emmanuel Mulenga

KICK-OFF: WHAT DOES FAZ OWE THE SPORTS MINISTRY?

SO this week, Wednesday to be specific, the Football Association of Zambia started conducting interviews for the candidates for the vacant Chipolopolo job at least as per time table.

From the list of 60 applicants from across the globe, a shortlist of 12 was made from which a suitable candidate in the eyes of the interviewing panel would be picked to carry the mantle of resuscitating Chipolopolo’s fortunes.
The next coach will also take a shot at trying to achieve what has always eluded Zambia, world cup qualification.
Every Zambian who genuinely loves the Chipolopolo is glued to this process, hoping that the best coach will be picked as a matter of urgency.

However, it is so worrying that at the point we think we are close to solving the Chipolopolo coaching puzzle, the Ministry of Sports seems to be throwing spanners in the work of FAZ in this important matter.

It is puzzling to learn that the ministry through permanent secretary Joel Kapembwa has written the FAZ in his own words ‘reminding’ them about the roadmap his ministry and FAZ had agreed regarding the procedure for the recruitment of the Chipolopolo coach.

But wait a minute, every Zambian knows that when the ministry rejected Vaselin Jelusic for lack of proper procedure in his engagement, the government through the ministry gave FAZ directives or rather what they called the agreed ‘roadmap’ to follow when recruiting a new coach.

FAZ obliged and put the ministry’s wishes, ‘right procedural demands, the correct roadmap’ in the advertisement which resulted in the current shortlist we have.

Shockingly, the same ministry has turned around and has questioned or rather according to permanent secretary Joel Kapembwa ‘reminding’ FAZ about the agreed ‘roadmap’ between his ministry and FAZ which according to the PS again, is not for public consumption.

Again the PS says FAZ has not ‘missed’ anything in the agreed roadmap but then one wonders why raise concern or ‘reminders’ to a process that has been perfectly executed according to the agreement?

I don’t understand and surely everyone who is able to think properly, can read between the lines, that there must be two roadmaps here – the one that was made public and the one that the entire ministry holds dear to its chest that is said not to be for public consumption.

But the thing is, when this same ministry rejected Vaselin, the reason given was that of lack of transparency and what not. But how can the same ministry become secretive about some roadmap? What type of transparency is this?
Does the ministry have its own coach in mind that it is failing to just come out in the open and announce?
Otherwise if FAZ has not ‘missed’ anything in the openly agreed roadmap that the whole nation knows about, what else is there to be questioned or ‘remind’ FAZ about?

If the ministry doesn’t want FAZ to employ a coach anytime soon for whatever reason, please let the nation know.
The Chipolopolo needs a coach like yesterday and these gymnastics from a major stakeholder who is supposed to support the process hundred per cent, is not helping matters.

We need the hidden ‘roadmap’ to be made public so that we judge where FAZ failed, otherwise in the absence of open truths, this will be seen to be just another hidden agenda aimed at sabotaging this process and sink the Chipolopolo fortunes further. In the end, the whole nation loses.

The nation is watching and one day, the general citizenry will pass its verdict.
Without taking sides here, this ministry is setting a very dangerous precedent regarding its treatment of Football House that successive FAZ administrations and future governments would have to endure to try and correct in the long run.

At the moment, it may seem right for those that it suits but believe me, a time will come when we shall all look back and regret that this happened today.
He who has ears let him ear!!!

Anyway, I am a Chipolopolo die-hard so, see you when Zambia plays next with or without a coach.

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