Tue. May 28th, 2024

The president of the Football Association of Zambia (Faz) has been arrested and charged with money laundering offences.

The country’s Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) alleges that Andrew Kamanga obtained government funds under false pretences and was part of a conspiracy to defraud.

The DEC says the 57-year-old used the money to fund trips for two associates to the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations in Ivory Coast earlier this year.

Madalitso Kamanga and Jairous Siame – the two individuals who travelled to the tournament as part of Faz’s support staff – have also been charged, along with Faz general secretary Reuben Kamanga.

An investigation revealed that neither Madalitso Kamanga nor Siame held official or executive positions within Faz.

The quartet are alleged to have acted together to obtain 341,902 Zambian kwacha ($13,150 £10,580) from the government for expenses and a further 99,980 kwacha ($3,850 £3,095) for return flights to Ivory Coast.

The DEC says the fraudulent activity occurred between 1 January and 15 February, coinciding with the Nations Cup finals where Zambia exited at the group stage.

An Faz spokesperson said Andrew Kamanga’s arrest was “part of a long-term plan to bring [into] question” his reputation ahead of the governing body’s elections next year.

Faz is set to hold its annual general meeting in Lusaka this weekend and the spokesperson added that the position of the organisation’s president was not under threat.

“There is no immediate risk of Mr Kamanga being out of Faz because this is just an arrest and the matter has to go to court – if at all there is any merit,” they said.

A DEC statement added that the suspects are “finalising bond processes” and “will appear in court soon”.

By Joy

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