Shooting From The Hip By Carlos Kambaekwa Recent media reports and correspondence from a faceless author over unfounded allegations of misconduct against the Director of Sport, Dr Vetumbuavi Veii, invites serious questions over the role of the media in our society. Rumour has it that the brother ostensibly flawed tender procedures by awarding a tender to a company of a relative for the provision of meals during the hosting of the SADC Zone Six Under-20 Youth Games. These are extremely serious allegations, and have the potential to tarnish the image of a person of high esteem in sport circles internationally, and the allegations should have been investigated thoroughly before publication. Having been a member of the Local Organizing Committee (LOC) in my capacity as Manager for Publicity for the Zone Six Games, I’m armed with first-hand information as to what truly transpired during the allocation of the said tender during the Games. In the first place, there was no need to invite tenders since the LOC had the luxury of Tender Exemption, and if the implicated official really wanted to wangle his way around tender procedures, he could have easily chosen to go that route without opening himself for unwarranted criticism. A number of facts must be considered before some unguided missiles are fingered by anyone for apparent wrongdoings. Firstly, there is no written rule that stipulates tenders must be awarded to the lowest bidders – there are substantial issues that need to be looked at such as the credibility and competence of those seeking to get a slice of the cake. The argument that implicated the official abused his powerful position as Chairperson of the LOC to muscle the decision into swinging the contract to the company at the centre of the storm, is absolute beef and is clearly aimed at tarnishing the name of the Director of Sport by people who have an axe to grind with the brother for some unknown reasons. The media is cruising on a slippery-slope journey by creating a platform for vindictive vultures to attack those who are deemed not to be in conformity with them at random without any substance in the allegations. And for those doubting Thomases who claim the Games were a flop, they really need to be a little more divergent and face reality. Where in the world have you ever seen a smooth transmission of Accreditation – this is a global phenomenon. The problems are usually not caused by the host country but by the participating nations who always seem to have a different misinterpretation of competition rules, and this normally contributes largely to the chaotic process of Accreditation. In the case of Namibia, there was a cut-off date for age restriction during the Under-20 Youth Games, but some countries just never bothered to adhere to these rules and arrived at the Games Village with over-aged athletes, which resulted in them being refused entry to the Village as they could not be accredited for the aforesaid reasons. The whole issue was problematized by some energetic journalists who were hell-bent at dwarfing the efforts of their compatriots with immaterial things such as the lack of variety of meals during the Games and striking Umpires who tried by all means to hold the LOC at ransom with their demands for payment whilst on national duty – this is tantamount to treason. Instead of condemning the amateurish actions of these troublesome bloodsuckers, the local media saw fit to have a field day and started questioning the ability of the LOC, giving some sort of credibility to non-starters. It should be remembered that hosting Games of this magnitude with a skeleton budget is certainly no chicken feed and little hiccups are always bound to surface. When Japan and South Korea jointly hosted the 2002 FIFA World Cup Finals – there were problems with the construction of one of the main venues, because the concrete around the Television area interfered heavily with the “live transmission” and this was only discovered four days before the initial kick -off. Staying with sport, and I must confess I’m still swimming in a pool of confusion with the Namibian Cricket Board’s dodgy decision to appoint former captain, Deon Kotze, as National Coach. Whilst I have no qualms about Kotze’s overall commitment towards the development of Namibian Cricket, I do have serious doubts about his ability to coach a team that aspires to conquer the world and in a desperate bid to acquire test status. This can only be achieved through good performances against formidable sides, and by the looks of things these aspirations could remain a pipe dream. The appointment of Kotze as National Coach is, in my opinion, a step backward for Namibian Cricket – after all, history can reveal Namibian Cricket is no stranger to controversies after the Union has surprisingly won several accolades locally and internationally as one the nations with the best Development Programme. On a meaningless piece of paper – YES!! But further than that, absolute crap!! Namibian cricket is yet to produce a cricketer of note from the previously disadvantaged folk in the mould of Makanya Ntini, or Herchelle Gibbs for that matter. The only hopeful was Burton van Rooi, who has since gone the path of the dinosaur from the cricket scene. Now the question that needs to be addressed is: what results were yielded from the sophisticated Development Programmes, because the staging of sporadic coaching clinics at Oshakati would not necessarily unearth some hidden talent out there. We need proper structures in place for this particular discipline to blossom and claim her rightful place amongst the best cricket-playing nations on the continent and realize our dream of playing test cricket. Is it perhaps not time for the Sport Governing Body (National Sports Commission) to start looking at Cricket from a broader perspective? Some disciplines need somebody like the uncompromising Dirk Conradie to take the game to the next level. We have been hoodwinked into believing that everything is up and running in certain sport codes whereas in reality nothing has changed since the days of segregation. Its time to call quits for now, so until next Friday – It’s ADIOS !!.
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