One of the athletes, Ndacha Mchelenje claimed in an interview with state owned Malawi News Agency (Mana) that the athletes who have travelled to Tanzania to take part in the race had been asked to use their own personal resources for their trip.
“It is quite unfortunate that we have been asked to use our own resources on the trip to Tanzania because it is quite challenging for us to find money and definitely this will also affect us psychologically,” explained Mchelenje.
However, it has been established that the organizers of the event in Tanzania are reportedly to have put measures in place to reimburse the athletes transport expenses upon arrival there apart from providing them with food and pay for their accommodation.
Nonetheless, Mchelenje argued that the local governing body needed to do its part to meet some of the expenditure requirements for the six athletes on their expedition to the East African country.
Responding to the allegation AAM general secretary Frank Chitembeya, disclosed that his organization is currently cash strapped as such it would not meet the needs of the Tanzania bound crew.
He disclosed that last year his organization was forced to borrow money from government to meet the needs of the athletes who went to the similar event on condition that they should assist in paying back the money to the government upon return.
The general secretary claimed that despite this arrangement made known to the athletes, none of them paid back the money even though the Tanzanians had given them everything.
He said his organization came with the latest decision as a way to teach the local athletes a lesson to always be honest in their deeds.
“We want to teach these athletes to be honest last year we borrowed money from the government on a similar trip but those who went did not bring the money back. We struggled as an association to pay the money back to government,”Chitembeya explained.
AAM like other sporting associations heavily depends on government financial support to run their affairs but in recent years that support has been dwindling as such they[associations] have been struggling to undertake some of their important initiatives.
Meanwhile, Chitembeya has disclosed that his organisation is working out arrangements whereby professional athletes will be required to contribute something to the association like, according to him; it is the case in Kenya and Ethiopia.
“Our counterparts in Kenya and Ethiopia have been doing this and things are working for them, why not with our athletes here?” he queried.
Rotary Half Marathon Race is an annual event that involves athletes from Eastern and Southern African countries, the event is held to honour Tanzania founding father and first president, the late Mwalimu Julius Nyerere.