BLANTYRE-(MaraviPost)— Football Association of Malawi (Fam), which was recently under being investigated by the Anti-Corruption Bureau on allegation of bribery and corruption, is under fresh probe by the Office of the Ombudsman on allegation of lack transparency and accountability on management of Covid-19 funds.
Maravi Post understands that Central Region Football Association (CRFA) Vice Chairperson Simeon Lijenje, in his personal capacity, wrote the Ombudsman in November last year that Fam should be investigated on the basis that it is a public body that is partly funded by government subvention under the Malawi National Council of Sports.
“Fam has implemented a number of activities using these resources in ways that are not transparent and accountable to its constituents in the following areas; procurement of Covid-19 materials, allowances and disbursement to the member associations,” reads part of the letter as reported by The Times.
“It is with the above that I request your office to probe the issues herein, in the public interest. There are also allegations indicating that part of these funds were used to empower preferred candidates in regional associations election, which are currently being probed by the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB).”
Ombudsman Martha Chizuma confirmed the development in an interview the local paper.
“It has since gone through some legal screening. But it’s among those complaints that came from November 1 2020 which as an office we determined that we should do substantive work on them once we finalise the eight parastatal investigations we are currently working on.
“All things being equal, we should start looking at that investigation and the rest from March this year,” Chizuma said.
Fam, just like all member associations, received $1 million (about K780,000,000) from Fifa as part of the Covid relief funds.
Through the funds, the association is reported to have been providing funds to all 16 TNM Super League clubs to cushion the effects of Covid-19.
Fam also provided monthly stipends of K40,000 each to registered Super League players.
The association was also providing relief packs to registered players in all the regional leagues, including women’s football teams.
All regional associations, namely; Southern Regional Football Association (SRFA), CRFA and Northern Region Football Association (NRFA) are also under ACB radar on allegations of bribery.