FIFA President Gianni Infantino is set to visit Malawi on 27th November 2019, ostensibly to deliver dollars to Walter Nyamilandu, money which will be used as inducements (bribes) for delegates preparing to vote in the forthcoming Football Association of Malawi (FAM) elections, scheduled for December 14th 2019.
Due to stringent money laundering laws and coming hot on the heels of the Department of Justice indictment of high-ranking FIFA officials arrested in Zurich in 2015, Gianni Infantino is avoiding a paper trail and delivering money using a private jet.
The President will be using a Cessna Citation Excel private jet, the same that ferried FIFA Secretary General Fatma Samoura and CAF President Ahmad Ahmad to South Sudan recently. This particular model of aircraft is predominantly used by the Swiss Government and military, who have a large fleet of Cessna’s which they have been lending to Gianni Infantino.
He is scheduled to meet with the head of state Peter Mutharika and also address delegates where the money is expected to be discreetly handed to each one of them.
With roughly 36 voting delegates in Malawi, Gianni Infantino has budgeted US$ 10,000 per delegate meaning that he will be jetting into Lilongwe with no less than US$400,000, a sum which would raise suspicions both within Malawi and within banking circles, were it to be sent to FAM bank accounts so close to the election date.
Since he was elected as President for his first term in February 2016, Gianni Infantino has never visited Malawi and the timing to the FAM elections is seen as his way of influencing the outcome of the elections.
It’s not lost on observers that during the same period, Malawi FA President Walter Nyamilandu has withdrawn the national teams from participating in football qualifiers, citing financial constraints, despite receiving close to $2 million from both FIFA and CAF in the same duration.
Unlike South Sudan Football Association (SSFA) which has ploughed their FIFA Forward money to building football infrastructure, Malawi has not embarked on any legacy project, despite being eligible for $1.5 million annually in FIFA grants.
Over and above embezzling those large sums of money, Malawi FA President Walter Nyamilandu also earns a whopping US$ 300,000 in annual bonuses and commissions as a member of the FIFA Council, the highest decision making organ in the hierarchy of the World Governing Body.
As if that money wasn’t enough, Walter Nyamilandu has so far received over $30,000 by virtue of being co-opted as a CAF Executive Committee (ExCo) member.
This begs the question, why is Gianni Infantino making a trip to deliver bribes and ensure the re-election of Walter Nyamilandu, yet he has never bothered to follow up on the use of FIFA Forward monies, remitted in the name of Malawian people? Shouldn’t he be dispatching auditors and investigators attached to the Ethics Committee to conduct a forensic audit on all monies FAM has received during Walter’s tenure?
Isn’t it an insult to the intelligence of the the President of the Government of Malawi Peter Mutharika and the entire football fraternity for Gianni Infantino to claim to love the continent and by extension the country, when they endorse corruption and protect football officials who engage in fraud and embezzlement?
Even after four successive terms in office, what has Walter Nyamilandu achieved to warrant a fifth term?
FIFA should be at the forefront encouraging transparency and accountability in its member associations, in line with the coronation speech Gianni Infantino gave during this year’s FIFA Congress held in Paris, France.
The truth is that Gianni Infantino wants to provide Walter Nyamilandu with a false sense of security following reports that Uganda’s Moses Magogo is being protected from a long time FIFA ban, so as to replace Nyamilandu in the FIFA Council. Magogo was found guilty of selling WorldCup tickets, but was handed a light reprimand.
Gianni Infantino is not visiting Malawi out of the profound love of the country or continent, but to engage in politics of self-preservation and his conceited game of musical chairs in a continent, which has remained largely out of the global football competitiveness because its only viewed as a vote basket by Zurich.