By Bernard Mhone:
Life has returned to normal at TNM Super League side Mzuni FC after Central Health Medical Aid (CHMA) announced a K140 million sponsorship package for the 2019 season.
The team’s future was in limbo following Mzuzu University Council’s recent directive that the university withdraw support to non-student players.
CHMA Managing Director, Victor Madhlopa, said Mzuni FC management approached them to bail out the team.
“The team’s management approached us with a request for sponsorship. They presented their budget and, after scrutinising it, we felt it was an interesting area to consider. But, as a business entity, we presented to them our terms for either partial or full support. But they are yet to come back to us,” Madhlopa said.
He said the relationship would benefit both parties in various ways and that the team would maintain its name and colours.
“We would just be funding them. The team would be operating like it was before. It is part of our responsibility, as medical insurance cover providers, to support individuals and organisations where need arises. You know that many people love football and we are optimistic that, by supporting Mzuni, we will fulfil some of our objectives,” Madhlopa said.
Mzuni Chairperson, Albert Mtungambera Harawa, commended the sponsor, the gesture, saying it has come at the right time as the team is preparing for the new season.
“This is a welcome development because we have been crying for support. Our team cannot withstand the heat of the elite league with student players only. I am optimistic that Mzuzu University management would do the needful on the sponsorship conditions so that we seal the sponsorship deal and begin our preparations in earnest,” Harawa said.
Mzuni are set to play in the Airtel Top 8 trophy for the first time, in addition to participating in league and other cup games in the new season.
Malawi Congress Party had also pledged to bankroll the team after the party’s youth wing at the university asked for sponsorship following the withdrawal.
CHMA also sponsors Mzimba District’s M’mbelwa Kings Football Trophy to the tune of K10 million.