New sheriff in town Andrew Kamanga is holding no grudges, instead he’s extending an olive branch to all football stakeholders in Zambia in a show of unity to help him walk the path of transformation he promised.
Kamanga, a business guru, floored incumbent Kalusha Bwalya in a closely contested race for the president of Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) at Moba Hotel on 20th March 2016.
He received 163 votes against nearest challenger “King Kalu’s” 156, with the third candidate Henschel Chitembeya getting just a single vote.
“We hold no grudges against anyone in any camp and extend our olive branch of unity for the sake of football development,” Kamanga said in a post poll statement, adding that in the beautiful game there are no enemies.
“There are no enemies in football but mere competitors and I congratulate all the participants in this election. The committee that has come in, I thank you and we have a monumental task to perform,”
The 50 years old first call to duty is “Chipolopolo’s” tie against Congo Brazzaville in the AFCON 2017 qualifier on Wednesday 23 in Ndola, and he is prioritizing the tie, but first things first; Kamanga wants accountability on the sale of tickets for the match to the last coin.
“Let me remind councilors that we have an important match on Wednesday in Ndola and the tickets have already been sold. We expect the funds raised from the tickets to be accounted for to the last Ngwee and we intend to announce the gate takings as soon as information is received,”
“The administration shall be transparent in handling gate takings and other financial dealings. Going forward we intend to implement computer-ticketing.” He added.
Here’s The Whole Statement
“Dear councillors, invited guests and the media I stand on this podium on this day the 20th of March 2016 as a true testimony of self belief and unity of purpose that is there among the councillors of the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ).
“Councillors, you demanded for change and through God’s guidance that change has come. What has happened today is not a mean feat; it is a monumental achievement for which you all need to be congratulated upon.
“The journey has not been easy. At every stage of our marathon towards football transformation, we overcame deep valleys, rivers, mountains and suffered tribulations.
“We were taunted, insulted and despised in so many ways. At every stage our efforts and messages were being bettered left, right and centre by a spirited wave of resistance.
“The trip through this harsh terrain of harshness was not easy. We took all the negative energy and converted it into positivity for the plight of our football.
“We hold no grudge against anyone in any camp and extend our olive branch of unity for the sake of football development.
“There are no enemies in football but mere competitors and I congratulate all the participants in this election. The committee that has come in, I thank you and we have a monumental task to perform.
“Today, ladies and gentlemen, we turn a new page in our soccer history with a renewed belief that our soccer will reach the highest level.
“We start this journey at the backdrop of changes and reforms at the World stage and Zambia shall not be spared from these changes.
“This victory we are witnessing today is not about victors or the vanquished. Football and only football is the winner in this whole process. It is for this reason that I wish to thank the previous administration led by good friend Mr Kalusha Bwalya, our soccer icon, for their contribution to football.
“I congratulate Mr Henschel Chitembeya for putting up a spirited campaign in our quest to develop our football.
“To everybody who competed in this election, let us remember that we are all winners, including those who have not been elected today. Football development needs all of you. Football development needs concerted effort.
“We are one football family despite the differences in how we go about running the game we all love.
“My administration will not practice retribution. It will not use this victory to turn our heroes, especially our icon (Kalusha Bwalya) into a villain. That we are promising you. But we are here to uphold and promote FAZ Constitution and FIFA regulations and most of all respect the law of the land, Zambia.
“Ladies and gentlemen, my administration and I take this challenge with a contrived spirit being fully aware of the huge responsibilities that lie on our shoulders. The task ahead is mammoth and requires the collective effort of all those that are involved in this beautiful sport to come forward and develop the football dispensation.
“I therefore invite all stakeholders in football to come forward and join hands with us for one common purpose; to develop and elevate the Zambian football. In the build up to this election, we traversed this great nation and saw the challenges that beset our football on a daily basis.
“During the campaign trail, we witnessed the massive talent across the breadth and width of our motherland. From the streets of Mansa to the roads of Livingstone, from the rugged pitches of Zambezi to the dusty grounds of Kabwe. From the streets of Kitwe to the stadia of Lusaka, we saw it; yes we saw it all.
“The boys and girls we saw are still fresh in our memories and we shall not backtrack on our promise and conviction. We wish to assure you that we shall remain true to our promise.
“In the short to medium term, our objectives have been clearly spelt out through our campaign messages embodied in our theme – SCORE. This is the platform upon which we have been elected. It is a blueprint for our football going forward.
“Let me remind councilors that we have an important match on Wednesday in Ndola and the tickets have already been sold. We expect the funds raised from the tickets to be accounted for to the last Ngwee and we intend to announce the gate takings as soon as information is received.
“This administration shall be transparent in handling gate takings and other financial dealings. Going forward we intend to implement compu-ticketing.
“Once again, after today’s business we will have audience with the team to ensure that there is no disruption in the preparation for the Wednesday game. We will be meeting the player’s and the technical staff to give them our encouragement and to assure them that all is well. Chipolopolo will perform well.
“Dear councillors, you will agree with me that for a long time now, our gallant men and women that have played for this nation have not been treated with honour. Their fate has been left with the whims and vulgaris of our economy.
“It is not strange to find ex-international players loitering in the streets without any livelihood. Some have fallen into destitution while others have sadly passed on. This is not the way to treat people that have served this great nation.
“We must find ways of honouring these nationals for the sacrifices they have made to this nation on the field. My administration will definitely prioritise this cause.
“May I now take this opportunity to thank the Patron of FAZ, His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu for the government’s immense support rendered to the association without which football administration would have been impossible. We look forward to continued government support and to entrench the goodwill and warm working relationship football has enjoyed with the state.
“There is a renaissance in Zambian football and together we can realise the dream every of Zambian, that of making Zambia a great footballing it should be.
“May God grant all of us his blessings and travelling mercies. I thank you all. Good morning. ”
Find me on Twitter @bonfaceosano
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