Some Used Fisticuffs at Congress, Others Didn’t Vote

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By Kuvee Kangueehi Windhoek John Muinjo was finally elected the new president of the Namibia Football Association (NFA) after he beat his challenger, Hendrick Davids, by nine to six votes on Saturday in the capital. The former acting president of the Association emerged victorious at the hotly contested congress which saw some delegates involved in physical fights whilst others abstained from voting. The election of Muinjo is widely expected to bring some stability in football, which started almost five months ago after the resignation of former NFA President Judge Petrus Damaseb. The turmoil in the national sport was caused by failed attempts to dethrone the leadership of Muinjo by a faction in the football fraternity, which termed themselves the Interim Committee. The attempt leads to the intervention of the football governing body FIFA and the government, which called for new elections. Temperatures at the 11th Extraordinary Congress of the NFA started rising soon after the official opening of the event by the Minister of National Service, Sports and Culture, John Mutorwa. The first hiccup at the congress started with the delegates from Omaheke with chairman of the southern stream first division, Willie Swartz, leading the protest. Swartz wanted the congress to discuss the issue of the delegates from Omaheke as he argued that the chairperson should be the one casting the vote. However, the congress, together with the chairperson of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC), Agnes Samaria, and FIFA Development Officer for Africa, Ashford Mamelodi, felt that the right procedures were followed as the Omaheke delegates were elected by the regional executive which mandated the delegates to come to the congress. The protest by Swartz was not taken lightly by the congress, especially by Jerome Champagne, the envoy of FIFA President Sepp Blatter who felt that Swartz questioned the credibility of IEC and chairperson Samaria and FIFA Development Officer for Africa Mamelodi. Jerome demanded that Swartz withdraw all insinuations pertaining to the character of Mamelodi. Swartz refused to apologise and even later – after the debate – termed FIFA a scandal to football. The delegates from Otjozondjupa also proved to be a serious problem as the two delegates could not agree on a candidate. The Chairperson – in a wheelchair – and the Vice-Chairperson became physical as they were grabbing a file and the chairperson ended up on the ground. In the bid for Vice-President, Anton van Wyk was beaten by nine votes to six by Dr Kolbinian Amutenya, while Kwela Kapenda defeated Walter Kameeta by 10 votes to (???) in the battle for Treasurer of the Association. Six new additional members of the executive committee were also elected at the congress. These are: Isack Frederick, Jacqueline Gertze (only woman on the NFA exco), Patrick Mwilima, Mathew Kalihonda, Immanuel Nangolo and Vaino Amukwa. IEC Chairperson, Agnes Tjongarero, said at the conclusion of the election that although there were problems before and during the voting process, she was nevertheless satisfied with the manner in which issues were dealt with. She declared the elections free and fair.