With the campaigns officially open for the next months’ elections for the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) a number of candidates have been busy trying to convince the councilors why they should vote for them.
The race to occupy the office in the country’s football governing body at both provincial and national level has surely heated up.
The ZamFoot Crew took time to sit down with Mr. Chikonde Mbalazi, A deputy Headteacher who is vying for the position of Northern Province Chairman.
ZC: who is Chikonde Mbalazi on a personal level?
CM: Chikonde is a simple man, born and bred in Kasama.A deputy Headteacher in the ministry of Education, a radio personality, a goal getter, down to earth, easy to mingle with.
Born in 1982 in malole chiti mukulu,mungwi District of the Northern province.
ZC: For how long have you been in football administration (Background)
CM: I have been in football administration for a long time, but it’s critical to note that it started with coaching and sports management at school. This started in 2005 on luwingu before moving to Kasama Ituna secondary school in 2007, 2010 mungwi Tech, 2017 kayambi secondary.
For club administration, in 2010, Kasama United as member and coach,2011 mungwi hotspurs as committee member and coach,2011015 vice chairman and 2017 chairman to date at mungwi mungwi HOTSPURS.
It must be noted that in 2014 of was coopted as treasurer for nopafa.
ZC: You have been in football administration for a long time, looking at how hard it is to run football in these parts of the country, what motivates you?
Who inspires you?
CM: I’m motivated by seeing our boys and girls express themselves. many have made it in life through football like Gerald chikwanda with ZAF; Samson mubanga with Nchanga formerly of power Dynamos, Niza simutenda with Napsa stars.
I’m inspired by my late dad who told me to do more for others
ZC: You are vying for the chairmanship for the province, what should football administrators expect from you?
CM: They should expect a lot of change which I and them will make in a stakeholder meeting. This meeting will look at infrastructure development, administrators training, player welfare that will look at health and insurance policies, sorting for more partners in football, referees training, holding government accountable, player linkages among other critical issues.
ZC: Looking at the challenges being faced by most clubs, what do you wish to implement to bring about change?
CM: As indicated, we shall implement quite a lot because our football I’m the province has not lived to its maximum. A lot has to be done like the introduction of youth leagues, (altogether group leagues for boys and girls)identification of sponsors to pay referees transport refunds, zoning of our leagues to reduce transport challenges, smashing off player transfer fees and registration for lower leagues, introduction of provincial teams.introduction of school leagues, training for scholarships coaches, bringing members of parliament on board, to propose to Faz on giving meaningful support and grants to lower leagues.
ZC: Youth and women football participation is quite low in the province, how do you wish to bring them on board?
CM: We Shall encourage all our teams to introduce women teams and introduce women leagues and advocate for more sponsorship. Also, work with schools to do more for girl’s football. we shall encourage more women administrators and coaches to join football.
ZC: Transparency is part of your campaign, how do you intend to implement that?
CM: Lack of transparency in the running of football has scared away partners and sponsors.
We Shall introduce an open policy. Whatever developments will come from the mother body or our partners should be shared with all. People to be in other provincial committees to be selected on merit, equal distribution of resources to all teams..introduce meetings to discuss progress being made in football and address challenges openly. We shall deal with caderism at all costs.
Bring about changes in how the allocation of match officials is done and appointment independent match officials to observe the quality of officiating.
We Shall in short offload the FIFA statues to help us bring transparency and take laid down procedures
ZC: On a lighter note, apart from football what is your favorite past time?
CM: Good one. .I’m a man of many talents. .I play volleyball and basketball, I’m a creative writer with over 50 plays and poems performed at the different festivals both in Zambia and abroad. I’m a radio personality as well.
ZC: Your take on the need to be united as a province?
CM: United we stand and divided we fall, let us rise as a united family and be tolerant of each other. This is just football politics and we shall soon open a new page of progress, love, and peace.
ZC: Your final words to the administrators in the province?
CM: My leadership is tested and I have a noticeable track record. .Our administrators know what I can do and what I wouldn’t, but the good part is, I’m a team player and I easily get along with anyone, approachable and had worked. I appeal to them to give me an opportunity to be their team captain as they are all players and will be part of the leadership both at the national and provincial levels. let us work together to improve football in our region.
ZC – ZamFoot Crew
CM: Chikonde Mbalazi