The notable high-profile player who has not made the trip for the tournament that will be played from 8 to 9 November is the country’s sole professional netballer, shooter Mwawi Kumwenda.
There has been no clear explanation on why the other four namely; Beatrice Mpinganjira, Joana Kachilika, Tina Kamzati and Cecilia Mtukule are not part of the team.
The team Coach, Mary Waya told reporters that she had drawn up a list of 16 players to train for the tournament but only 13 turned up for the camp.
Waya could not be drawn to discuss the negative impact Kumwenda absence and others will have on the team’s performance in the Kiwi land.
“I cannot comment on how some of the players including Mwawi Kumwenda’s absence would affect the team because I submitted to Netball Association of Malawi (NAM) a list of 16 players for camping and 13 reported,” Waya explained.
Nonetheless, Waya said she would make use of the crop of players she has taken to this year tournament.
“So I will make do with what I have rather than talking about those who do not want to play for the nation,” she said.
NAM officials are reportedly suspicious with Kumwenda decision saying there might be other factors at play that might have influenced her move.
NAM President Rosy Chinunda told a local radio last Friday that Kumwenda’s move to seek dental treatment in the Rainbow Nation was meaningless because as she puts it she can access such service locally.
However local media has been awash with reports that team players are still owed substantial amount of money by the local netball governing body in game allowances from last year’s tournament to more recently Glasgow Commonwealth Games.
Kumwenda was not available for comment when this reporter tried to get her view on the matter.
This is not the first time for the local netball governing body to be embroiled in controversy during last year’s Fast5 World Netball series it left out from the squad four players from Complex Tigress on disciplinary grounds.
The four namely, Lauren Ngwira, Sindi Simutowe, Beatrice Mpinganjira and Grace Mwafulirwa Mhango were excluded in the national team after protesting against their team disqualification from the last year’s Presidential Netball Tournament.
NAM disqualified Tigresses on allegations that it had featured a pregnant player.
It all started when Ngwira, the player at the centre of controversy was taken to a private clinic in the capital Lilongwe the venue of the tournament for pregnancy test by NAM official where she reportedly tested positive.
However, subsequent pregnancy test which was carried out at the country’s biggest referral hospital, Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital turned out negative.