Bury the Hatchet and Play the Game

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By Kuvee Kangueehi WINDHOEK The Minister of Youth, National, Service, Sport and Culture John Mutorwa yesterday finally pulled the plug on the leadership of President of Athletics Namibia Alpha Kangueehi. At a press conference yesterday in the capital Mutorwa stated that his ministry and the Namibia Sports Commission (NSC) can no longer further directly entrust the Athletics Namibia leadership with the responsibility of preparing the Namibian Under-20 athletes to competently and confidently participate in the forthcoming Supreme Council of Sports in Africa (SCSA) SADC/Zone VI Under 20 Youth Games, to be hosted by Namibia, in June/July 2006. “The Ministry of Youth, National Service, Sport and Culture and NSC do not have confidence, nor trust in some of the current national leaders of Athletics Namibia,” the minister noted. Mutorwa also clearly spelled out the reasons for the decision to declare no-confidence in the AN leadership. The minister told the media gathering that on the 9th February 2006 he called for a consultative meeting with the leadership of Athletics Namibia and enumerated numerous media reports and letters of complaints about the poor state of athletics management and administration in the country. “At the meeting the executive committee members of Athletics Namibia admitted that all is not well and sound in athletics and I also mentioned that it was neither the intention of the ministry or NSC to directly take over the day-to-day running of athletics. ” He added that he informed the AN leadership that those tasks remained for the elected leadership of AN to prudently and professionally carry out, as mandated by the AN Congress, that elected them in those positions, in accordance with the AN constitution. Mutorwa said at the said meeting he directed the AN leadership and the general membership to invoke Section 8.2 of their constitution to address the leadership crisis in AN as soon as practically possible. “I also directed both the directorate of sport and NSC to feel duty bound and stand ready to assist AN to arrange for an indaba to address the AN leadership crisis, before the envisaged congress.” The minister revealed that the AN undertook to provide the ministry and NSC with a budget and programme for the indaba within two weeks but up to now nothing has been submitted to the two institutions despite numerous reminders. “I called for a meeting with all sports codes, which are going to participate in the upcoming Zone VI Youth Games.” He added that during that meeting it emerged that almost all the other codes had given in the names of their teams for accreditation with the exception of athletics. The minister said during the meeting, the AN again promised to provide the names of their team only after last week Saturday when they would have organized a competition for selection purposes. The failed competition appeared to be the final straw and Mutorwa said due to poor planning, the competition could not take place and again money was wasted, and athletes and officials were left stranded, frustrated and disgruntled. He explained that in promoting and protecting the welfare and interest of athletes, the Government through his ministry cannot fold its arms and allow the situation in athletics to deteriorate much longer. “We have now reached that stage to invoke some provisions of Section 28 of the Sport Act as the ministry through NSC is more than satisfied and convinced that the current national executive committee of Athletics Namibia does not conduct its affairs in a manner which is … to public interest.” The minister also announced that it has been decided that with immediate effect the responsibility of planning, organising and managing the athletics events as well as the tasks of preparing the athletics for the athletics code specially the upcoming Zone VI has been assigned to an interim committee.