PRESIDENT of the Tanzania Football Federation (TFF), Leodegar Tenga has challenged axed contenders of the February 24 general election to follow proper procedures in seeking for their rights, giving them a glimmer of hope that they still have an opportunity to get back into the race.
He pointed out three alternatives for those who would seek to have their case resolved in accordance with the procedures. He said, the first procedure was to request the Appeals Committee to review the decision(s) made against them. "It is possible for their cases to be reviewed.
In-fact two contestants (Jamal Malinzi and Ahmed Yahya) have already written to the committee, seeking their case to be reviewed," he said, adding that the committee was set to meet either late yesterday or today to discuss the matter. He said if the committee will rule against the review, the contestants could still seek an intervention from the World football governing body FIFA.
"They are free to write to FIFA and argue their case (s) and could still go further to the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS), which ultimately is the last alternative," the TFF boss observed. Tenga vehemently defended the federation's standing committees, saying they are functioning according to the regulations and above all, they are independent to make decision(s) that not even the TFF president is allowed to challenge or revoke.
"I can only give my opinion against the committee's decision (s) in my individual capacity but could not do the same in the capacity of the federation's president because anything of that nature would mean an infringement or interference of their (committees) autonomy. We respect our statutes, which clearly tell us that these committees are totally independent...if you interfere any of their process, then you do not have constitution," he warned.
The only assurance Tenga gave to the sports lovers especially football fanatics in the country is that the ongoing standoff will be solved amicably, calling for calm. "TFF will make sure it provides maximum support to anyone who will seek our help because we want to ensure justice prevails.
Our objective is to make certain that there is stability and work for the best interest of our football," he said, while cautioning the coming leadership of the federation to avoid clashes that will certainly put off potential sponsors. "Our football needs support, which will only come into fore if there is honesty and credible leadership," he insisted.
Tenga's latest clarification followed demand by the axed presidential hopeful, Jamal Malinzi, who challenged the incumbent boss to rise to the occasion and solve the ongoing standoff ahead of the general election. Malinzi, the former Yanga Secretary General, considers the Appeals Committee decision to omit his name from the race as "unlawful, unfair and was meant to rob him off his basic rights".
He said the TFF Executive Committee under Tenga leadership has the mandate to nullify any decision(s) made by Appeals Committee or any other committee under its jurisdiction. In another development, Tenga has refuted notion that the federation had lied to the public after amending its constitution through circular letter.
He defended the procedure, categorising it as "sophisticated" and allowed at this era of fast advancement in technology. "This is a 21st century, where the World has changed drastically in terms of technology. These days organisations have adopted teleconferencing where it is not a must to convene in one place/venue to hold a meeting...you can organise a meeting with people in different areas and still come out with the desired results," he said.
Both Malinzi and Vice-President aspirant, whose name was deleted from the race, Michael Wambura said Tenga led leadership erred to make constitution amendments without calling for General Assembly, which they argue that was the only body with the mandate to make any constitutional amendments.
"We got a nod from members, in-fact two third voted in favour of the changes, (70) Yes votes against 33 No votes. The procedure was transparent enough and we did that because of limited time we had, otherwise we would have to delay the election process, which was also un-constitutional," he argued.