Board members milk Boxing Board dry

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Carlos Kambaekwa

Windhoek – While the entire Namibian sports fraternity and various sporting disciplines are feeling the pinch as a result of the widespread economic downturn, some sports honchos are having the time of their lives.

New Era has been reliably informed that barely three months into their tenure in office, newly appointed board members of the Namibia Professional Boxing and Wrestling Control Board (NPBWCB) have accumulated sizable amounts of cash through sitting allowances, totaling over a quarter of a million Namibia dollars.

According to sources close to the unfolding saga, each of the five board members pocketed a handsome figure of N$20,000 in October and November, while the amount was reduced to N$15,000 in December.

This has skyrocketed the total amount in sitting allowances for board members to over N$300,000 within a period of three months, surely a new record for the embattled boxing controlling body.

Meanwhile, it has been revealed that he board has appointed a new private secretary, believed to be a close associate of an influential board member on a monthly remuneration fee of N$10,000.

The designated functions of the new appointee at the NPBWCB are yet to be outlined, notwithstanding the precarious financial position in which the boxing presiding body currently finds itself.

Insiders claim members of the board have made it their sole priority to milk the system at the slightest provocation.

To back their claim, they point towards the exorbitant sanction fee the board obliges promoters to pay.

The general rule states clearly that the board, as the sanctioning body, receives six percent commission from the purse, but the total should not exceed N$30,000.

Yet it is alleged that the board has breached this directive on numerous occasions.

It has also come to the fore that previous board members did not claim sitting allowances in the same manner as the current board.

Members of the dismantled board only received a small amount towards the end of the year as a token of appreciation.

Murmurs of discontent are now doing the rounds, with retired boxers complaining bitterly about board members’ insistence on installing themselves as event supervisors in an apparent bid to cash in at the expense of potential suitors, including former boxers.

NPBWCB board members are reportedly getting their palms greased with N$3,500 each for attending professional bouts, whilst the supervisor on the night walks away with a cool N$12,000 – about three times more than an average boxer on the undercard takes home.

Approached to shed light on the figures, board spokesman Ronnie Kurtz would not deny nor confirm the allegations, adding that the board does not have a set fee for sitting allowances.

“The boxing control board is not a parastatal. It operates as an independent entity with no governance principles,” Kurtz remarked.

Pressed to reveal the actual amount in sitting allowances board members are entitled to, Kurtz was quick to point out that board members are professionals, who are likely to lose out on income whilst attending board meetings outside the scope of their respective professions.

“The Act does not state precisely how much. It only says ‘a reasonable fee’. So, it should be taken into consideration that I’m a practicing lawyer and another board member, Kenny Hipundjua, is a medical doctor. Hence, we must be compensated accordingly,” Kurtz concluded without elaborating further.

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