Renowned for their prowess on the pitch during an illustrious history that began fifty years ago, Power Dynamos Football Club stands out as one of the most successful teams in Zambian football. The names of football legends roll off the tongue with ease when the Club’s glorious past comes to mind. While trophies were being won, world class goals scored, a group of bespectacled, middle-aged men sat high in the VIP box from where the fortunes and direction of the club were managed. They set the tone for the destiny of the club by making the critical decisions that brought success and kept the club at the summit.
These were the equivalent of the men who sat in Mission Control directing the flights of the Apollo space programme when Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walked on the moon on 20 July, 1969. The flight director of the highly specialised hub of decision-making called the shots. He had a team leader for different aspects of the mission reporting to him as each critical element of the flight was implemented to perfection.
Similarly, Arthur Davies, as the Club’s chairman, had a team around him that covered all critical areas from player matters, state of the facility, logistics, remuneration and others. Such was the level of the Power Dynamos success story that it became inevitable that the skills of the managers who kept the success story running would be called to higher duty to serve at the highest body of Zambian football, the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ).
Among the notable Power Dynamos executive committee members who served at the football association was Ernest Mate who was part of the executive team that won the Nelson Mandela Cup in 1991. A tough no-nonsense man who was not afraid to make his views known, he rubbed people the wrong way when he felt his opinion was right. He stood his ground, refusing obstinately to budge from his position when he believed in it. He initially began his administrative career with the Kitwe/Nkana Amateur Football Association.
Later, in 1980, he stood against David Lewanika for the chairmanship of the FAZ, but his bid was unsuccessful. A year later, Lewanika’s reign was dramatically brought to a halt by General Kingsley Chinkuli, the then sports minister and Mate was appointed interim General Secretary of the association as he took up the top administrative role. He later resigned from the position before the committee finished its term. In 1993, after Winston Gumboh was ousted as president of the association, Mate was called upon to serve in an interim capacity for a brief time. He stands out as one of the most important football administrators who served on the Power Dynamos executive committee.
Mr. Whiteson Chiti was another Power Dynamos official who went on to serve on the FAZ executive committee after success at Power Dynamos. He was a key part of the executive during the era of Jabbes Zulu and served Power Dynamos in the early nineties. This was the period when the club fought epic battles to supplant Nkana’s dominance of the domestic football scene. Dynamos went on to become African Champions and win local cup competitions while Nkana were more dominant in the league. A soft-spoken man with a quiet demeanor, Chiti’s administrative skills kept the wheels turning at Power Dynamos. He went to FAZ during a turbulent time for national football. After Jabbes Zulu was ousted for misuse of funds relating to the repair of his motor
vehicle, Chiti continued under the interim committees led by Ernest Mate and later Simataa Simataa. He was part of the executive committee that forced the resignation of Simataa from the presidency. Michael Chiti then took over the presidency. He is a life member of FAZ, in recognition of his services to Zambian football.
Between 2000 and 2004, Andre Mtine served on the Power Dynamos executive committee. He continued the service to football that his family had given to the Zambian game over many years. His father, Mr. Tom Mtine, had served as president of FAZ in the seventies and eighties and at the highest levels of African football as an executive committee member of the Confederation of African Football, even challenging Issa Hayatou for the presidency in 1988.
Andre Mtine came to Power Dynamos with a wealth of knowledge from having served on the Nkana executive during their greatest era in the eighties. He brought an astute football brain that served both Kitwe clubs well. Between 2000 and 2004 when he served on the Power Dynamos executive committee the club won the league in 2000 and five cup competitions to keep their status as a leading contender in the domestic game. He also had the distinction of serving in the CAF finance committee. Currently, he is an important part of the management at TP Mazembe where he has continued to make his mark at the highest levels of African club football.
The highest level a Power Dynamos official got to in Zambia’s football hierarchy is that of FAZ president. In 2013, Andrew Kamanga served as an executive committee member of the club, contributing to an impressive second place finish in the league as the club lost momentum in the final stages to Zesco United. Given the disparity in budgets between the clubs and Zesco United’s ability to open the purse strings and sign the best players available, it was a remarkable feat to take them to the wire.
After his spell at Power Dynamos he challenged for the FAZ presidency in 2016 where he, against all expectations, defeated Zambia’s football legend Kalusha Bwalya by seven votes. It was a masterstroke of strategy and a well-thought operational plan that delivered a result that few thought possible. Now into his second term, his agenda has included the separation of the league from FAZ. With these changes in mind for the local game, the stage is set for a new era for Zambian football clubs. The commercialisation of the league is intended to open the flood gates of sponsorship revenues and club football’s explosion to the next level of its development.
The author of this article also proudly served as an executive committee member of Power Dynamos in 2013, and later as its General Secretary from 2016 to 2018.
As the club seeks to challenge at the summit of the Zambian game for the next 50 years, as it did in the first 50, Power Dynamos’ officials are certainly destined to play a greater role in the national game and to once again leave a lasting impression.
Ponga Liwewe – article written on 9 July