Sunduzwayo Madise: Malawi National Sports Council board chair

BLANTYRE-(MaraviPost)—On Wednesday night Malawi leader Lazarus Chakwera approved a list of board of directors of 67 parastatal organizations and he has been praised for including professionals.

Of course governance expert Khumbo Munthali has described the appointments as “a combination of competence or expertise and reward for patronage,” but the fact is that public intellectuals and patriotic professionals have made it in the Boards.

On the list there is one rare gem in law, Sunduzwayo Madise. Dr. Madise is now Malawi National Council of Sports board chairperson. Those who were born after 2000 might be puzzled as to what criteria did the president use in appointing Madise, a legal scholar and Dean of Faculty of Law at the Chancellor College, a constituent college of the University of Malawi, to chair sport council?

Well, Madise was the Vice President of Football Association of Malawi (FAM) in the 2000. He is remembered for the persecution he faced at the hands of the same sports council he will be chairing for allegedly bribing referees.

Serious revelations had been made at a Blantyre Magistrate Court alleging that Madise had tried to bribe some match officials during a World Cup first qualifying round first leg match against Kenya in Blantyre in April, 2000.

The revelations had been made by the then acting Sports Council executive secretary George Jana when he testified in a case that the Madise suggested to the Council to bribe the officials.

Jana told a packed Blantyre principal magistrate’s courtroom that the former vice president of the FA took US$1,000 from the FA’s coffers for the alleged bribery.

Malawi won the match 2-0 and then drew the away leg 0-0 in Nairobi to reach the group stages of the qualifiers.

“It happens everywhere”

The executive secretary said in court he was surprised that the referees had demanded US$1,000 more than their regular fee of US$3,800, which usually covered their expenses.

Jana disclosed before Principal Resident Magistrate Sylvester Kalembera that when the council confronted Madise on the allegations of match bribes, the former vice president allegedly answered: ”If other countries were doing it, we could also do it.

“There was no problem in bribing the referees as it happens everywhere,” Madise is alleged to have said.

Jana said the Sports Council did not get any receipts for the US$1,000.

In the corruption case, Madise was accused of corruptly accepting 30,000 rand in cash (about US$3,700) and 2,833.75 rand in settlement of hotel bills from Global African Football (GAF) consultant Ian Riley.

Television rights

The Malawi Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) also investigate allegations that the monies were bribes, for the purposes of awarding television broadcasting rights for the Malawi v South Africa World Cup qualifier to GAF, instead of their rivals, the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC).

The SABC had complained to the Malawi government, saying it suspected foul play during the award of the contract.

Madise was arrested after the Anti-Corruption Bureau took up the matter and sent a team of investigators to South Africa.

He was subsequently suspended form the FA executive and later got fired.

But Madise denied the corruption charges.

This was the first high level corruption case involving a senior sports official in Malawi.

He was tried, convicted and slapped with a suspended sentence.

Sundu’s next step

Mzati Mkolokosa, the one who has been fired yesterday from Ministry of Information, in one of his articles in 2015 argues that Sundu rose again, in a bigger way than before, for after the fall he enrolled to study law at Chanco and earned himself an LLB. His academic performance earned him a teaching post in the Faculty of Law at the institution. He went on to study for an LLM and he is now a PhD holder and the dean of faculty.

Mzati thinks Sundu was not really in the wrong but his popularity in sports fraternity was his enemy. According to Mzati, Sundu appeared in the media more than any other official at FAM then because he was friendly and, therefore, media friendly.

That’s about Dr. Sundu the new board chair of the Malawi National Sports Council. After a fall he rose with much energy and he is still resisting the force of gravity.

His life is indeed a classroom as Mzati Mkolokosa put it.

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