SHOOTING FROM THE HIP Something is seriously amiss in our sport structures from the top of the head all the way down to the bottom of the foot. First and foremost, there is a culture in Namibia amongst those entrusted with certain responsibilities of not always being conversant with paperwork, guarding their existence and at times their daily survival so to speak. I’ve been following with keen interest the debate surrounding the potential candidates to take over the reins at the troubled Namibian Football Association following the sudden but inevitable exit of Judge-President Petrus Damaseb. And while I’m not in the habit of taking aim at fellow pen-pushers, some hot-blooded swanky journos would stop at nothing to lay their hands on scoops, even if they had to dribble their way around some elementary basics in the trade before rushing to print – only to be left with egg on the face afterwards. The case in point is Damaseb’s envisaged replacement, with long-serving NFA Deputy President John Muinjo ostensibly eyeing the country’s most sought-after seat in sports terms. Now, the amendment to the Namibian Sport Act of 2003 Part V, specifically dealing with National Sports Bodies and National Umbrella Sports Bodies, reads as follows: – 25) A person may not hold office as a member of the Executive organ of a National Sports Body or National Umbrella Sports Body; a) for a period exceeding 10 years in aggregate; b) if such a person – 1) is not a Namibian citizen; 2) is a member of the National Assembly, a Regional Council or a Local Authority Council; or, 3) is an unrehabilitated insolvent. The next question is of paramount importance in this regard; is John Muinjo a henchman of the above clauses; YES !!! the brother has been serving as NFA deputy-president for over nine consecutive years and has therefore overstayed his welcome according to the Namibian Sport Act. By implication, Muinjo does not qualify to run for NFA president and this debate should be considered a closed chapter, full stop !!. However, the very same principles should also be applicable to some of his colleagues within the football structures and several others serving on national and umbrella sports bodies. Furthermore, the NFA Statutes adopted at the Association’s 10th Extra-Ordinary Congress held in Windhoek on the 19th of December 2005, and which came in force on the same date, state clearly in Article 32:3 dealing with the Composition of the Executive that all members may be re-elected for one consecutive term only after a period of four years. There are still some executive members within the structures of national and umbrella bodies who are currently skating on thin ice as their presence on these bodies constitute a serious miscarriage of procedures which could have serious repercussions, since any decision endorsed by the said members would be technically illegal. Amongst one of the primary objectives, which led to the establishment of the National Sports Commission, is to ensure that national sports and umbrellas bodies are complying with the Act and their constitution and rules especially on discipline. Now, how do we expect the Commission to oversee these rules and regulations while they have in the meantime become a law unto themselves, bending the very same rules and cutting corners at every turn. The appointment of Agnes Tjongarero to the National Sports Commission while heading the National Olympic Committee bears testimony to the above statement, and besides numerous protests from the media – the sister is still wearing two hats at the same time, in total contrast to the document she is supposed to uphold. The Namibian Sport Act explicitly states that a person may not hold office as a member of the executive organ on more than one national or umbrella sports bodies at the same time, but this is not applicable when it comes to certain individuals -Tjongarero’s situation is a case in point. As it stands, there’s an element of complacency amongst sports authorities when it comes to compliance with rules and regulations governing the various national sport associations and umbrella bodies, and this once again confirms the notion that if one wants to conceal anything from sports administrators – just put it in their own statutes and the information is likely to gather dust for good. So, the line ministry has finally told Brra Alpha and his freeloaders in no uncertain terms where to get off exactly, albeit for the time being, but if one could read between the lines from the minister’s tone – we might just as well have seen the back of Brra Alpha and his childhood buddies for good. Despite numerous warning shots fired in the air, including a good number from yours truly, Athletics Nami-bia instead went belly-up and just can’t get out of the starting blocks to meet the deadline for submitting a list of athletes to the Local Organizing Committee for accreditation ahead of the Supreme Council of Sports in Africa Zone Six Under-20 Youth Games. This exercise incensed the Ministry of Youth, National Service, Sport and Culture so much that the usually mild-guised line minister was left with no other option but to roll up his sleeves and face the provocative challenge head on. The last straw on the camel’s back came when Athletics Namibia failed to stage last weekend’s much-trumpeted competition to select athletes for the upcoming Zone Six Under-20 Youth Games to be hosted by Namibia in two months’ time. Meanwhile, the minister has reiterated an earlier undertaking that Government has no desire to mingle in the affairs of athletics, but the deteriorating situation within the administration of Athletic Namibia has prompted authorities to seek refuge in Section 28 (2) (b) of the Namibian Sports Act 2003, which stipulates that: “The Commission may strike off the register, the name of a National Sports or Umbrella Body, if the Commission is satisfied that the body conducts its affairs in a manner which is contrary to the public interest.” Consequently, the line ministry resolved that Athletics Namibia fits the bill and rightly so, decided to wrestle away the responsibility of preparing the Namibian Under-20 athletes to competently and confidently participate in the forthcoming Zone Six Under-20 Youth Games. The latest jingle has certainly trotted out the way for the inevitable return of athletics guru Quinton Steele-Botes to the fold, teaming up with Letu Hamola, Bethold Karumendu, Antoinette Joubert, Solly Duiker, and Albertina Mbasuva while Sivute Katamba completes the seemingly powerful 7-member Interim Committee. The Interim Committee’s term of office is effective from the 12th of April, 2006 until the finalization of all reports of the Zone Six Under-20 Youth Games – by latest 6th of July, 2006. Hokaai!! it’s time to apply brakes – I’m running a bit low on bullets and urgently need to refill, so until next Friday, it’s ADIOS for the time being!!
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