By Mark Baber
July 5 – Whilst on the pitch Tanzania are playing Zambia this evening in the COSAFA semi-finals, off the pitch the Tanzania Football Federation (TFF) has been thrown into chaos by last week’s arrest of its president Jamal Malinzi (pictured), secretary general Mwesiga Celestine and accountant Ms Nsiande Mwanga on corruption allegations.
Appearing before Kisutu magistrates, Malinzi and his co-defendants, who deny the charges against them, have again been refused bail on the grounds that bail cannot be granted to people accused of money laundering. The defendants will therefore be held in custody until a further court appearance on July 17, whilst prosecutors continue their investigations.
The arrests dovetail with deadlines for registration for the upcoming TFF elections and the TFF Electoral Committee has requested that the TFF’s Executive Committee itself rule on whether elections should go ahead in these circumstances, with officials divided between those who wish to suspend the process until the Malinzi situation is resolved and others wishing to carry on regardless. Former player Ally Mayay Tembele is favourite to take over as TFF president given Malinzi’s absence.
With Malinzi and his co-accused facing 28 counts including forgery, issuing forged documents and money laundering of $375,418, they faced another set-back as the head of their defence team, advocate Jerome Msemwa, vice chairman of TTF’s disciplinary committee, wrote to the Principal Magistrate today (July 5) requesting leave “to withdraw from representing the accused persons in this case for want of proper instructions.”
On Saturday the Administrative Committee of TFF appointed Wallace Karia as Acting President of the federation whilst Salum Madadi is now Acting General Secretary.
Meanwhile, there are media reports that a FIFA team is currently apprising themselves of the situation, with the question of government interference hovering in the background.
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