Stepping into Mpira house on Wednesday, September 19, felt like stepping into the corridors that lead to the ruins of power whose roofs are caving in only held in an appearance of standing by the walls of force.
Failures-in-leadership have a tragic sense of humour. And irony. For every figurative sense of besiege they feel, they always make sure that they should give a physical presence of it. So, instead of only surrounding himself with those usual praise singers who have enabled him ruin our football for almost two decades, Nyamilandu on Wednesday lined the streets paving to his throne of shame with the presence of force.
One would be forgiven to think a bloodful coup had been staged on the Presidency of FAM and in going in, the people were going to see a decapitated body of the head of that disgraceful institution. Maybe it was, figuratively, for what remains now of the FAM leadership if not hot air, shame, disappointment and a vain show of force?
There have ever been Pressers at Mpira house and no matter how much they are billed, none has ever needed the protection that was witnessed at the football King’s self-besiege on Wednesday.
From the entrance, two Police officers welcomed us all into what was Nyamilandu’s rant of narcissism which to say in a few words was that ‘he is not resigning, RVG is going nowhere and Flames is performing well’. Such a simple message that would not even fill-up a tweet.
All the way to that place where he read his predictable message, armed to the teeth Police Officers did not smile, or flinch. They stared at us as though we are the people who, in 16 years plus, have been instrumental in the Flames’ tragedy of a performance. That we were mere Journalists, and most of us victims of Nyamilandu’s harvest of naught, was lost on them.
But Nyamilandu did not call the Presser to talk football. Like a King facing discontent, he called the Presser to intimidate his opponents. To give an impression that he was in control even when it is apparent that the only person having confidence in Nyamilandu’s abilities is the devil himself and a few paid-up cronies whose association with Nyamilandu can only be understood by analysing their financial situation.
It is a script too familiar for those who witnessed the final moments of Tunisia’s former strongman Ben Ali, Libya’s fallen dictator Muamar Gadhafi, Burkina Faso’s ex-dictator Blaise Compaore and Gambia’s former tyrant Yayah Jammeh – the people with whom Walter Nyamilandu shares a WhatsApp group.
Predictably for these people, with a conviction that public seats are crafted for them and those whom they anoint, they always resort to the show-off of force using weapons that are in no way related to the things they claim to be specialists in when they discover that power is slipping through their porous fingers.
At the Presser on Wednesday, punctuated by those high pitches of Nyamilandu when he is agitated and the banging of tables, Nyamilandu just convinced us that he is the worst thing that happened to Malawi football. If anyone doubted Nyamilandu’s incapability in running FAM, that Presser must have been convincing enough. For, although having erected that stage himself, he failed to jump on it, not to talk of inspiring confidence from it. If an allegory is to be thrown in: it was as if a village Chief inviting the whole village to see his new clothes which are nothing other than his nakedness. The emperor was naked on that stage and his henchmen applauded.
Not only did he refuse to relinquish his position but he veered off to attach politics to his failure in leadership. It was a moment of shame for those who thought they could somehow defend Nyamilandu’s era of errors. Whereas politics might not be entirely ruled out, the politics has come in because FAM has failed to lead the Flames to glory or just near it. Can you imagine an effective FAM in which there is efficiency and excellence and the Flames are doing well? This would hardly provide a loophole through which politics can slip through. But it is because there is chaos, corruption, incompetency and uncertainty all around FAM.
For, under his watch, the Flames have become the beating boys of Africa such that to win a bet on PremierBet one can only wait for a Flames Game and bet that they will lose and that is a sure way to emerge rich in an unpredictable game of football where Comoros can beat Cameroon.
Whereas the call for him to resign was too much of an ambition, his insistence that his product RVG is delivering smacked of a man whom we can now comfortably suspect is getting some kickbacks from the deal he made with that Ronny guy. It can only be that or that Nyamilandu has lost touch with football for him to say that Ronny is delivering. To agree with Nyamilandu on that observation is to either be self-deceiving or full from kickbacks from Ronny.
And worse was his claim that the national football team is performing well only failing to give the results. I thought Mr. Nyamilandu is a learned man, I thought Mr. Nyamilandu is an intelligent man yet after that statement I discovered that at the core of it, Mr. Nyamilandu is just a text book narcissist. He is like all of them: seeing things that are not there.
That Nyamilandu, a decorated player in his relevant days, could compare the shameless display of no skills from Flames and the lack of results from them to that of Barcelona is as childish as it is insensitive. It is a further proof that FAM is better off being headed by no one than it is now in the hands of Nyamilandu.
Nyamilandu might have survived the failed demos through bribery and coercion, but he has to know that like him there was Issa Hayatou and Sepp Blatter – both operated like him and ended in a style not so beautiful, a style that awaits him.