By Austin Oduor Otieno,
“Let me begin by thanking the Almighty God for enabling us to be what we are and achieving what he has ordained us “ Those were the opening remarks of current Tanzania Football Federation President Jamal Malinzi during his introductory remarks when unveiling his manifesto in 2013.He was a candidate for the position of Chairman in the Country’s Football Federation Elections to replace Leodegar Tenga.
True to his words, the self spoken football boss now at the helm of the Country’s Football top organ has achieved what few football bosses haven’t done in decades. He is a typical example of true leadership in soccer management.
Born on the 18th of August 1960, The Football Chief attended Mwanza Secondary School for his O level Education and later Arusha’s Ilboru High school for his A- levels. He is also a graduate of Bachelor of Engineering (upper 2nd class).
He has a wealth of experience in managerial duties and this makes him have an edge over others. He blends well with the public and the private. Prior to being elected the head of Tanzanian football, he was the Director of Cargo Stars Ltd Company, a position he held since 1993.At that time he doubled up as the Chairman of Vodacom Premier League Club, Kagera Sugar. He is also the Chairman of Kagera Regional Football Association.
He has held several positions in football administration including holding the position of Director of Jangwani based Young Africans between 2000-2005 and Mzizina FC of Dar es Salaam. He was also involved in promotional boxing activities some time back.
His campaign pillar majored on 4 cardinal issues in Talent, Trainer, and Football gear and football infrastructure.
A look at his achievements 2 years on as promised in his manifesto tells you why Jamal Malinzi is a man full of praise and an achiever by standards.
Expansion of the Vodacom Premier League
In his manifesto, Jamal promised to expand the top tier to accommodate more teams so that a greater part of the country get represented and reduce the concentration of Clubs from one area. In doing so, He proposed the formation of Adhoc committee which sat down and ratified and made amendments to have the top tier have 16 teams same as Kenya and Uganda. The current top tier has 14 teams. This has so far been achieved with Two teams Ruvu Shooting and Polisi Morogoro going down and four teams in Mwadui FC of Shinyanga,Toto African of Mwanza,African Sports of Tanga and Maji Maji of Songea all joining the top tier to form a 16 team 2015/16 Vodacom League. This decision has gone very well with the public as more representation has ensured more action.
Establishment and Upgrading of Artificial Turf in existing Stadiums
This was aimed at helping Tanzania host the the CAF U17 2019 Championship, a marker to host future AFCON after it became clear that it was the reason CAF denied Tanzania the hosting rights of the 2019 AFCON.He promised that the historic Nyamagana Stadium in Mwanza City would get a massive facelift with the laying of the artificial turf and building of stands. Today the Provincial Administration through the Mwanza regional commissioner who had commissioned the laying of the turf in collaboration with sponsors have set the ground work .This programme would spread to other areas like Gombani in Pemba and Amaan in Zanzibar together with Uhuru stadium in Dar es salaam.
Introduction of Domestic Cup Tournament.
This was received with a lot of applause from football fans and stakeholders across the country considering that both Kenya and Uganda sends their representatives to the CAF Confederations cup courtesy of winning the Domestic cups. Kenya has the Gotv Shield while Uganda, the Uganda Cup.
He said he would bring back the Federation Cup and that all the clubs around the country would be eligible to play.
Youth and Women Football-Bringing football to the grassroots.
“We are going to invest highly on youth and women’s football in collaboration with our partners, who include the government, to ensure our football development programmes are going smoothly and are sustainable,” he made this statement after being appointed to the Youth committee of CAF as a member, a fete that he has promise to ensure that he will use the appointment to lobby for the hosting right of the CAF U17 tournament in 2019. Tanzania has so far requested CAF for the hosting rights and is awaiting communication.
He has so far started fast racking the renovations and modernization of pitches of all the 16,000 primary schools in the country and has promised to issue 500,000 shoes and 160,000 balls.
@jamalmalinzi is his official twitter account and he is credited for engaging with more football fans and stakeholders in the media. He is very active in the media and he even created the position of Media Officer in his secretariat
He also has a website of his on where he updates the public on his achievements, the challenges steps his administration is taking for a better Tanzania in matters Football.
A recent engagement in the social media, in his twitter account almost went viral when he he bowed to pressure and declared his support for incumbent Sepp Blatter for re election when put to task by enthusiastic fans and the country at large.
Jamal Malinzi, by standards has achieved a lot so far in his two year stay at the helm of Tanzanian Football, He summarizes his landmark achievements since he got into office as follows
-Issuance of title deed for a stadium in Tanga.
-Withdrawal of debt cases against TFF from court and settling them out of court.
-Formation of a new secretariat where for the first time, the creation of the Physician and Health Committee headed by Dr.Paul Marealle, who is also the Chairman of Tanzania Surgical Association. The committee has 2 other practicing Medical Doctors.
-Jamal has upheld and sustained various initiatives of the outgoing leadership and maintained administrative stability. Through this Vodacom recently renewed its sponsorship of the top tier.
-He has worked closely with various football stakeholders for the establishment of Football Centre of Excellence.
Jamal Malinzi is a man who has vowed to ensure Zanzibar gets CAF and FIFA recognition and autonomy and he fully supports Zanzibar’s effort to become a member of FIFA.
His closing remarks 2 years ago before he was voted in as Tanzania’s Football chief in a peaceful election in Dar es salaam was “Let me conclude by saying that development of football in an own country needs creativity, courage and a stray of drive, I urge you the electorate to elect me into office “and true to his words Jamal garnered 73 votes against his closest challenger and former Vice President Athuman Nyamiani who got 52 votes.
He begun work on Sunday, October 27th 2013 and he immediately pardoned all officials who were serving bans from the district to National levels save for those accused of Match fixing and bribery.
Long live Jamal, Long live Tanzania
The writer is a Journalist with Soka25east.com and a supporter of Msimbazi outfit Simba SC