Mbabane: Contrary to previous belief, over four people can be nominated for chairmanship of the Premier League of Eswatini [PLE].
The current PLE constitution, on close scrutiny, has provisions allowing those who have served four years in the Board of Governors to be nominated for elections. The PLE will be having their much-awaited elective Annual General Meeting (AGM) in a few months’ time and a number of football people, some outside the PLE structures, are believed to be campaigning for the chairmanship, currently being held by Peter ‘Touch’ Magagula.
There have been strong beliefs that only the current four PLE executive members qualify to be nominated for chairmanship, but some clauses in the current constitution say something different. For chairmanship, those that have served four years in the Board of Governors (BOGs) not just in the executive board, can be nominated and there are a number of such qualifying candidates in the PLE .
Further, the constitution also states that independent football people can be nominated for the chairmanship, as long as they are confirmed officials of existing premier league teams. This means that ‘Touch’ can expect a tough battle to retain his position. Those that have all along been thought to be qualifying candidates besides ‘Touch’ are Sicelo Mkhonta, Mark Carmichael and Rudolph Matsenjwa who all form part of the current executive committee. It is interesting to note that there are more qualifying candidates from the BOGs that can be nominated and these are Vovovo FC boss Sipho ‘Tsetla’ Bhembe, Pigg’s Peak Black Swallows’ Charles Matsebula, Young Buffaloes’ Vusi Mango, Callies’ Ngudze Mamba, Madlenya‘s Juluka Gamedze.
This also means officials like current PLE executive member, Bongani ‘Bhanyaza’ Mdluli, by virtue of being Manzini Wanderers Chairman can be nominated for chairmanship. For a place in the executive committee, most of the current BOGs qualify to be nominated because unlike in the chairmanship post, there is no requirement of four years as qualification for nomination. Allegedly, there are people working behind the scenes lobbying for the upcoming election, trying to lure votes from the BOGs. Independent News has established that also been gathered that there is tension among executive committee members, as some have publicly declared interest to contest for election if nominated. The nomination process will start after the settling of the coronavirus pandemic shortly after football activities are declared ready to resume. PLE members will submit their nomination preferences a month before the AGM as per the constitutional provisions.