By Frank Lupupa
HENSCHEL Chitembeya says it is worrying that there is still no local organising committee in place to oversee organisation of the Under-20 Africa Cup which Zambia is hosting next year.
And Chitembeya has advised suspended FAZ vice-president Richard Kazala and committee member Blackwell Siwale to tell the nation the whereabouts of the K150,000 which they are alleged to have misappropriated.
Zambia won the rights to host the tournament three years ago but apart from having the team in camp, little is being seen in terms of organisation of the tournament to be held from February 26 to March 12 in Lusaka and the Copperbelt.
In an interview, Chitembeya, a former FAZ committee member, said focus must be on intensifying preparations because it was the first time Zambia would be hosting a tournament of such magnitude.
“Therefore, much needs to be done in order to leave a lasting impression internationally. By now, we should have the local organisation committee to oversee accreditation, accommodation, transport and security and all other logistics that go with such events. Maybe we don’t know if they are doing it quietly or otherwise, but besides the main organising committee in CAF, we need a separate organising committee. We don’t know what they are discussing apart from the in-fighting we are seeing. It’s worrisome that we still do not have a committee in place when the tournament is just around the corner,” Chitembeya said.
FAZ president Andrew Kamanga and sports minister Moses Mawere were both unreachable by press time as their phones went unanswered, while coaches Beston Chambeshi and Wedson Nyirenda were also unavailable for comment.
And Chitembeya said the key to ending the impasse at Football House lay squarely in Kazala and Siwale’s hands as they needed to explain where the money went instead of going round and prolonging the fighting at the expense of football development.
“First of all, this episode will go down as the worst in history to have characterised Football House. Even us, as we disagreed with Kalusha [Bwalya], we never engaged in such mudslinging as we are witnessing today. It clearly shows now that some people have not gone there to develop football. It clearly shows that some people have gone into football with ulterior motives,” said Chitembeya, who, with three others resigned from FAZ in protest against Kalusha’s leadership in August 2010.
“The starting point to end this would be for the two to explain where the money went. Did they get the money or not? Which way did the money go? Everything else at this point is secondary, whatever they are saying and doing is secondary really, the primary issue is to explain where the money went. Let them come out in the open because they hold the key in this issue, and it will also help them, otherwise this fighting means nothing if the truth is not known.”