12 Malawian officials escort five athletes to Olympics


Minister of Sports Ulemu Msungama and 11 other officials are part of the Malawi delegation to the Olympics in Japan where Malawi will be represented by five athletes.

Team Malawi will travel to Japan on Saturday and the Olympic Games are expected to take place from July 23 to August 8.

Ministry of Sports’ Principal Secretary Oliver Kumbambe and Director of Sports Jameson Ndalama are also part of the delegation and so is Sports Council Executive Secretary Henry Mereka.

Other officials on the Japan trip are Malawi Olympic Committee (MOC) Vice President Flora Mwandira, General Secretary John Kaputa, and Administrator Naomi Chinatu.

Athletics coach Pachisi Nyasulu Yona Walesi [Swimming] and Tawina Mtaya [Archery] will also go while Judo Coach Ryoma Kudo is expected to join the team Japan.

The five athletes are Asimenye Simwaka, Judo athlete Harriet Boniface, Archer David Areneo and two swimmers, Phillip Gomez and Jessica Makwenda.

MOC president Jappie Mhango backed the composition of the Malawi delegation, saying everyone has a role to play.

According to Mhango, Minister of Sports will attend meetings in Japan and interact with officials from International Olympic Committee (IOC) while officials from Ministry of Sports are the part of the delegation because they implement government policies.

He added, that in individual sports there are usually more officials.

“Generally, you can have a team manager for a football team managing over 20 players whereas in an individual sport one official can manage an athlete or more depending on those that have qualified. Often times, a team is seen to have more players unlike in individual sport,” he told the local media.

But Malawians on social media have questioned the number of officials escorting the athletes, saying the government is wasting resources.

“Another way of stealing tax payers money. Number of officials being more than the number of athletes,” said one person on social media.

“Why the whole Minister & the entire MOC office, is this a joke or what? Greed will not take us anywhere, two people are enough to go with the athletes,” said another social media user.

While another said: “I don’t see any change we were fighting for. This is mediocrity at its best how can they justify this? after this someone will be preaching about mindset change, we joke a lot.”

Social commentator Onjezani Kenani noted that Botswana has not sent as much officials despite having more athletes at the Olympics.

He said: “For comparison, in Botswana 10 athletes and three officials in total for their Olympics team. Here at home, five athletes and 12 officials, including the Minister, PS, Director of Sports etc.”


One Comment

  1. It is very sad for poor country like Malawi, How can this be happening when we voted for change?

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