Mlatho Mponela ownership hearing postponed

A meeting called to resolve ownership wrangle over Super League relegated side Mlatho Mponela failed to take place on Wednesday after the club’s director Steve Chapola did not turn up.

The Central Region Football Association (CRFA)  chairperson Austin Ajawa confirmed the postponement, saying the meeting has been rescheduled for Monday next week.

“We didn’t meet because Mr Chapola said he was tied up. We could not proceed to discuss the issue because the aim of the meeting was to hear from him and that he hears our side,” he said. Ajawa said his association was keen to resolve the problem.

“We hope that all parties will be supportive. We don’t want this issue to be unresolved by the time the league kicks off,” he said.

Chapola was summoned to a meeting at Civo Stadium in Lilongwe after earlier this week he wrote Football Association of Malawi (FAM) seeking its intervention in the planned sale of the  club to Mchinji-based Simbi FC.

After its Super League relegation last year, MlathoMponela was supposed to play in the CRFA Premier League this season.

Mlatho Mponela

However, Gracias Chikoma, who is documented as  Mlatho Mponela owner, said he was planning to swap the place with a  Division One team because he cannot manage to bankroll the team in the top tier.

Part of Chapola’s letter to FAM reads: “I find this a bitter pill to swallow and hence coming to Fam to rescue the team from this situation. Mlatho Mponela FC is a limited company and no one is eligible to make transaction on behalf of the team without the knowledge of any of the Mlatho directors.”

Commenting on the meeting postponment, Chapola said the summoning came as a surprise as they were expecting FAM to hear their matter.

“We were taken unawares because we were not expecting CRFA to hear this case. Nonetheless, we are committed to meeting them because, we have learned, that it’s FAM which referred the matter to them,” he said.

Chapola said he would be available on the set date as “all we want is justice. We are against the idea of someone selling the club without the knowledge of the sponsors”.

Mponela was named Mlatho after Mlatho Technologies, which Chapola is a director, committed to be the sponsor.

However, Chikoma argues that he is selling it because “our past immediate sponsors Mlatho Technologies have shown no willingness to bankroll the team.”