Criminal Record? Stay Away, Says NFA

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By Sbu Mjikeliso Windhoek The Namibia Football Association (NFA) says people with criminal records need not apply for the position of national coach for the Brave Warriors. The NFA is in search of a new national team coach. Michaela HÃÆ’Æ‘Æ‘ÃÆ”šÃ‚¼bschle, Director of Criminals Return Into Society (CRIS), has slammed the move as discriminatory against these people who have been rehabilitated. The issue for her is that people with criminal records are being dealt double punishment having served their sentences in the case of those who were convicted, and secondly, being denied job opportunities after serving their sentences. The question is also whether or not having a criminal record has any bearing on a person’s ability to do the job at hand. Matters regarding a person’s criminal record are private and should have minimal relevance when it comes to employment, HÃÆ’Æ‘Æ‘ÃÆ”šÃ‚¼bschle added. Although that may be the case, football has its own criteria for sourcing employees. The football fraternity may not welcome someone with a criminal record in charge of the national team. “Generally, it would be of good nature if the candidate didn’t have a criminal record although I fail to see what impact that will have on the set-up because the candidate would have to concentrate on the coaching job at hand,” sports analyst Corry Ihuhua said. “It is also at the discretion of the NFA whether or not to employ someone with a criminal record.” Ihuhua added. Columnist Carlos Kambaekwa declined to comment on the story but he did however acknowledge that the move is discriminatory. NFA Technical Director Seth Boois responded by saying: “We are like any other company, it is unlikely that people with a criminal record will be taken into consideration.” In the bigger scheme of things, former criminals should be given a chance at employment and not cast aside as society’s rejects, because one of the results of that would be a return to the life of crime. CRIS (founded in year 2000) have made it their personal mission that these former convicts are rehabilitated thoroughly and are trained and counselled in order for them to be accepted in the job market again. The issue, however, appears to be sensitive to most businesses as they have their various policies for employment in place. Harold Pupkewitz, of the Pupkewitz Foundation acknowledged that the severity of the crime and the position to be occupied largely affect their decision to employ former criminals or not, saying: “We have in the past employed rehabilitated criminals, but we find it difficult to put them in trust positions where they might be tempted to do the crime again.” He also said that the general consensus among employees is that they are not comfortable with an ex-convict working closely with them. This then begs the question: Is the correctional service doing enough to ensure that criminals are rehabilitated, and is society ready to give these offenders a second chance? HÃÆ’Æ‘Æ‘ÃÆ”šÃ‚¼bschle feels that former offenders who have shown remorse and have been rehabilitated deserve a second chance or else society will drive them back to their criminal ways.