We have given more honour and support to Kalusha Bwalya than he deserves. It is a big insult to us for anyone to suggest otherwise.
Firstly, in recognition of his contribution on the pitch, Kalusha Bwalya was given the rare privilege of captaining our national soccer team.
Secondly, despite having no experience at all, Kalusha was appointed to be the national soccer team coach. He was even allowed to select himself as a player even though he was too old and could no longer play well. I still remember how he missed that penalty leading to Zambia losing an important match. Kalusha failed lamentably as a coach but we did not fire him outrightly.
Thirdly, we accommodated Kalusha in Pamodzi Hotel during his tenure as coach since he claimed that there was no house in Zambia suitable to accommodate someone of his status. This was at great cost to the cash strapped FAZ. Government had to come in to meet the mounting hotel bills.
Fourthly, Kalusha was elected FAZ Vice President despite him having zero experience in football administration. He got this job simply because we wanted to appreciate his efforts during his football playing days.
Fifthly, we have given Kalusha enough opportunities to represent Zambia at CAF and FIFA on successive terms even though the country benefitted nothing out of his representation. As a matter of fact Kalusha abused his position at CAF to vote against Kalaba as Footballer of The Year Based In Africa, in his feat of jealous as he doesn’t want other Zambians to be honoured.
Sixth, Kalusha was elected and re-elected as FAZ President despite his failure to improve standards of the game. People mostly ignored the massive corrupt practices of his administration, including his former Vice President and General Secretary being clearly involved in match fixing.
Seventh on the list is that Kalusha is not being publicly shamed in Zambia even after he was convicted, banned and fined by FIFA for being involved in underhand schemes which have brought embarrassment to the game of football.
Eighth is that Kalusha has not been arrested, charged and tried for apparent corrupt practices. This is despite outstanding evidence available, including the one FIFA relied on when convicting, and upholding his conviction after he appealed the earlier conviction.
All these things we have done as a way of honouring and appreciating the honour which Kalusha brought to Zambia during his playing days, even though we know that he never helped us win a trophy. We also remember how he always unpatriotically demanded to be paid more than other players and demanded compensation for missing his club games whenever he was called to play for the national team.
Kalusha should just do the right thing and stay away from FAZ. His time is up. He has caused us more than enough embarrassment through his scandals which led to his being banned and fined. He should find another way to earn a livelihood. His contemporaries are coaches.
By Akataluka Songiso