You Had Ample Time to Walk Out, So Bite The Bullet Now!

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Shooting From The Hip Carlos Kambaekwa My advice to the beaten finalists is: please chaps, bite the bullet and accept the outcome of the Election, because you had ample chance to walk out of the Congress if you felt the procedures were not being fairly conducted. Although no one has provided conclusive evidence that there’s no life after death, it would be extremely harsh to treat this as a conclusive proof that there is. By the same token we could prove that everyone will be dammed to eternal torture after death or that we will be reincarnated as stick insects. Part of the temptation to believe that proof by ignorance as real proof, may stem from the fact that in some courts of law a defendant is usually presumed innocent until proven guilty. In other words, lack of evidence against someone is taken as proof, for the purpose of the court, that they did not commit the crime. However, as many cases of guilty people being freed because of inadequate evidence show, this isn’t really proof of innocence but merely a practical – if imprecise – exercise of protecting innocent people from wrongful conviction. What transpired during last weekend’s ill-fated and eagerly-awaited NFA Congress, goes in tandem with the above-stated philosophy. The shenanigans preceding the Namibia Football League’s Extraordinary Congress resembled an early morning hour scene at some Nil Star Shebeen in the township with some hazy-eyed, cash-strapped patrons stumbling all over the place for a last sip from favourite Mampoer. Any election, be it political or recreational, has its perks and the candidates are well aware of this and would engage in all kinds of tricks to put up camp in the beckoning structures – that’s the bottom line. It’s now water under the bridge that long-serving NFA Executive John Muinjo has been democratically elected as the new man to take Namibian Football to new heights after a fierce battle with his competitor, Hennie Dawids, amid some controversy. For the sake of transparency , I’ve never heard of any election without cries of foul play afterwards, and the eleventh Congress of the Association would go down in the history of Namibian Football as the most fiercely and closely contested. And while many football pundits were hoping for a new era to dawn on our fragile football setup, yours truly was always occupied with some kind of reservations about the quality and the credibility of strategists in Dawids’ camp. Going into the polls, Dawids was the clear favourite but was eventually let down by his subjects after a well-calculated behind-the-scene lobbying by the opposition. After all, that’s what democracy is all about. Those who felt cheated might be shouting ‘foul play’ at the scene that some delegates from the regions differed on their preferred candidate, but I just don’t see anything wrong with the adopted procedure to determine the validity of those who should cast the deadly vote. I strongly believe it is still the prerogative of the Region to mandate any of its Executive Members to cast the vote but, alas, why do you have a Chairperson whom you don’t trust, and why was the Chairperson then allowed to attend the Congress in the first place if his participation was merely reduced to that of a spectator. This method invites lots of debate, but these are matters that should have been clearly sorted out way before the Congress to avoid the embarrassing situation which unfolded during the Congress where a disabled delegate was manhandled to the extent that he is currently receiving medical attention for a fractured hip. I just hope, in the name of football, that we won’t engage in court cases and all kinds of jazz in an attempt to nullify the results of the Congress, because the moment you participate in the proceedings, you become an accomplice, and there is no way to get out of it now. So, my advice to the beaten finalists is: please chaps, bite the bullet and accept the outcome of the Election, because you had ample chance to walk out of the Congress if you felt the procedures were not being fairly conducted. After casting his vote for his preferred Presidential candidate, the often misunderstood and extremely articulate Willy Swartz did the honourable thing by walking out of the Congress after sensing defeat, but it was a little too late because once Muinjo was pronounced the eventual winner, it was mere formality for his allies to follow suit. When vigorously pointing out to some clauses in the Namibian Sport of 2003 – I just sought clarity from the Sports Authorities since there was confusion as to whether the original Act of 1995 was revoked or just amended, and even the custodian of the Act (National Sports Commission) was compelled to seek legal opinion on the matter. The issue was not a personal attack on or dislike of John Muinjo or Agnes Tjongarero, who both have since adopted a bulldog-like attitude towards the author – not that I really cherish their attention or company. While I appreciate the Commission’s response to the clause of serving on any Sports Association or Umbrella Body for ten years on aggregate, I – and in particular the nation – am still awaiting feedback on the issue of serving two masters at the same time. Nevertheless, congratulations to Muinjo and his new Executive, and I wish you all the best.