15 February 2013

Zambia: Now Ben Saili Quits

ZAMBIA Professional Boxing and Wrestling Control Board (ZPBWCB) secretary Ben Saili has resigned from his position with immediate effect.

Saili's resignation comes barely 24 hours after Sports Minister Chishimba Kambwili lifted Exodus Boxing Stables proprietor Anthony Mwamba's 90-day ban slapped on him by the ZPBWCB.

During a Press briefing at the ZPBWCB offices in Lusaka yesterday, Saili said the decision to quit was necessitated by alleged lack of professional leadership exhibited by the director of sport, Benard Nakacinda.

Saili accused Nakacinda of alleged misconduct not befitting his status, saying as a technocrat in charge of sport at the ministry and a former ZPBWCB secretary, he should have advised the minister correctly on the Boxing Act.

But when contacted, Nakacinda said he could only comment after seeing the written statement from Saili, while by Press time, Kambwili's mobile phone went unanswered.

Saili alleged that Nakacinda did not avail the minister the details of the report submitted to him because if advised appropriately, Kambwili could not have ignored the issues raised on the suspension of Mwamba.

Saili said what had transpired thereafter was not only shocking, but extremely disappointing that the Sports Minister reinstated Mwamba's licences without taking into consideration the provisions of chapter 156 of the laws of Zambia.

Saili said that four years ago Mwamba took boxer Goodwin Mutampuka to Scotland to fight Willie Lamond for the World Boxing Union lightweight title with falsified medicals.

He said he championed a crusade to investigate the matter but that it ended without conviction.

Saili said Mwamba had been perceived as a hero of Zambian boxing when in fact he had been destroying the sport by continuing to operate outside the perimeter of the Boxing Act, which gave the board the mandate to regulate and monitor the sport professionally in the country.

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