Boxing Board refutes claims of hefty sitting fees… hits back at New Era Sport

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Carlos Kambaekwa

Windhoek-The Namibia Professional Boxing & Wrestling Control Board (NPBWCB) has condemned in the strongest terms reports that it has ostensibly misappropriated a sizeable portion of money from the state-funded institution in meeting allowances.

The five-member board was fully represented at a hastily arranged press conference at a hotel in central Windhoek yesterday where board members sought to clarify claims that board members were paid large amounts of money in sitting fees.

A furious chairman of the board, Ellison Hijarunguru, pulled no punches as he accused New Era Sport journalists of apparently waging a systematic war against the board in an effort to tarnish its credibility.

It was reported that each board member received an amount of N$55 000 from the month of October until December in sitting fees. The board spokesperson Ronnie Kurtz said the amount is totally incorrect and was a deliberate ploy to discredit the board.

“Since our appointment in September last year we have only received N$35 000 each, which amounts to N$175 000 in total. In terms of the act, board members are entitled to claim a reasonable fee, set at N$5 000 per sitting.”

Kurtz further stated that they are still owed large amounts of money in outstanding sitting allowances for the thirteen meetings the board has clocked up.

It’s not clear what the thirteen meetings were all about as the current board has only managed to oversee two major international boxing tournaments during its tenure.
The board also clarified the issue with regard to the appointment of a private secretary, adding there was indeed a need to rope in someone with the appropriate expertise and conversancy in the English language to take minutes during board meetings.

The board claimed the previous board conducted its meetings without minutes being taken.

However, closer inspection with previous board members where the current board chairperson Hijarunguru was a signatory revealed that there were indeed minutes taken during all their meetings.

The board also rubbished claims that the appointed private secretary received N$30 000 over three months, saying she only received a total of N$10 000 for services rendered but fell short of responding to a report that she is a close associate of a prominent board member.

The outspoken deputy chairman of the board, Phillip Mwandingi, argued that the N$600 000 annual budget allocation for operations is insufficient to sustain the operations of the non-profit organization.

But Mwandingi conveniently chose not to disclose or mention any income derived from sanctioning fees and penalties.

Contrary to conflicting reports that the previous board did not claim any sitting fees, the new board members say they have concrete proof that the departed board members could not account for a missing N$2 million.

Further inspection into the affairs of the previous board brought to the fore that a prominent board member was unlawfully placed on the payroll of the NPBWCB for almost two years – as he was unemployed at the time.

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