Boxing supremo blasts detractors in verbal brawl

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Wearing two hats at the same time ... NBF president Kelly Nghixulifwa stands accused of having overstayed his welcome. He has been leading the federation for more than two decades after being elected to the plum seat in 1993.

… critics want to see the back of him

WINDHOEK – Namibia Boxing Federation (NBF) president Kelly Nghixulifwa has vehemently refused point-blankly to entertain allegations inculpating him of abuse of power with claims that the Namibian boxing supremo has overstayed his welcome as NBF president.

Nghixulifwa was quick to jump to his own defence by labelling those who dispute his competency as a bunch of “disorganized gangsters”.

Speaking to New Era Sports on condition of anonymity, a number of influential people within the Namibian boxing fraternity accused Nghixulifwa and his henchmen of having developed an unquenchable desire to remain in power. His critics say the current boxing hierarchy has on numerious ocassions deceptively postponed the Elective Congress, supposed to be held quadrennially, but with no properly constituted elections taking place over the last seven years – a practice they say boils down to pure ‘corruption’.

Disgruntled officials lambasted the NBF top brass for the ostensible cheapjack manner in which they go about managing the federation’s affairs, comparing Nghixulifwa’s style of management to that of a scrapyard manager.

 

Nghixulifwa has been at the helm of the federation for more than two solid dceades – very much against the spirit of the Namibian Sports Act 2003, 2 (d) that says a person does not qualify to hold office for more than ten years before the date of the proposed appointment.

However, Nghixulifwa would have none of that and point-blankly refused to be blamed for his tenacious grip on domestic boxing, claiming his somewhat overstretched lodging at the boxing offices is because people within the boxing fraternity are still in need of his valuable expertise.

He shot back at critics, saying they are the ones who are corrupt and disorganized. “ After the 2006 Elective Congress, we held another congress in 2010 where I was democratically elected as NBF  president. It’s a big surprise to me for someone to claim that we did not hold an Elective Congress ever since. Most of these regional members don’t even bother to attend NBF congresses and would always come up with all sorts of goofy excuses. Yet they are the ones who run to the media accusing us of corruption, while they are the ones who should be in the opposite boat,” Nghixulifwa lashed out.

“I’m ready to step down anytime, even if they decide to hold a congress tomorrow. I will gladly walk away to give the opportunity to a young bright leader who is ready to bring development to domestic boxing. I know 20 years is quite a long time but trust me, over the years I have seriously considered stepping down but people who genuinely have boxing at heart have time and again begged me to stay on – that’s why I patriotically honoured their request.”

Meanwhile, the federation’s long seerving secretary-general, Joe Kaperu, has jumped to the defence of Nghixulifwa and the NBF’s fragile administrative style – insisting that the current top brass are doing a good job in developing local boxers and boxing in general.

Questions were also raised over the continued involvement of Katutura Central constituencey councillor Ambrose Kandjii in the internal affairs of local boxing. Boxing pundits argue that Kandjii is ineligible as prescribed by the Namibian Sports Act 2003, (2) (c) which says a person does not qualify to hold office as a member of a sports umbrella body or assocation if he is a member of the National Assembly or of a regional council or local authority.
 By Otniel Hembapu

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