October 26, 2021

Suspended Football Referee Speaks Out Against ACB

Suspended Grade one football referee of Central Region Football Committee [CRFC], Arthur Chilimba, has alleged that the Anti-Corruption Bureau [ACB] works fast in investigations for whistleblowers that have money but those without money should not expect the cases reported to be investigated swiftly.

Chilimba alleged for the Karonga United vs Kamuzu Barracks and MAFCO VS Silver Strikers games the ACB has not carried out investigations and all the suspects are at loose, including him, as the ACB seems to have no interest in his case because he did not provide funds to start investigations.

He prayed for the ACB to use its own funding rather than the money received from whistleblowers for the truth to prevail. If the tendency of relying on whistleblowers to provide money for investigations continues, the ACB will be meaningless and the poor will stop reporting corruption cases to it.

“…There have been allegations of corruption with tangible evidence involving senior referees selling games, officials manning stadium gates, FAM equipment which was reported to the ACB, but all these have gone without probe…,’’ said Chilimba in an audio clip.

Chilimba added he is going home to rest as he is not officiating games, expressing hope that the ACB will exercise its independence by ensuring that it is fully funded with money for investigative purposes for whistleblowers without money to trust it.

When contacted, ACB’s Principal Public Relations Officer, Egrita Ndala, said the Bureau cannot respond to something in an audio clip because there is no authenticity of the voice that is speaking, advising Chilimba that if he has issues with the way the Bureau is discharging its duties, he should visit the nearest office close to him to be assisted accordingly.

“…The Bureau cannot start the investigation process the same day it receives the reported case from a whistleblower. It takes time and we have shortage of human capacity to go for investigations…,’’ said Ndala.

Ndala: Let those with complaints use proper channels

Arthur Chilimba was handed a 3 year ban in football refereeing after the Disciplinary Committee found him guilty of soliciting bribes from a club official to help his team win the game.

The ban on Chilimba sparked corruption allegations involving senior referees who allocate games favoring some individual referees to officiate football games involving their teams out of pocketing money. This has been an-on going practice among referees contributing to the downfall of football in the country.

Meanwhile, one football fan, Leonard Mkandawire of Area 15, in Lilongwe has asked the ACB to talk to the National Referees Committee [NRC] to lift the ban it imposed on Chilimba so that he can return to his whistle while investigatios are underway observing that Chilimba has exposed to the nation one of the reasons why the Malawi National Football Team always performs badly.

Mkandawire said the ACB should work closely with Chilimba to bring all culprits in Referees Committees and Football Association of Malawi [FAM] to book so that taxpayer’s money is used for the intended purpose.

By Vincent Gunde

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