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My candid view - NFA presidential race: Now we know who means business

2020-02-14  Otniel Hembapu

My candid view - NFA presidential race: Now we know who means business
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For countless weeks now, if not months, the media and the general public have been on their knees requesting and begging all four candidates running for the Namibia Football Association (NFA) presidential seat to come forth and share their respective manifestos with all Namibians, especially those in the football fraternity.

Finally yesterday, renowned coastal businessman and former chairperson of the Namibia Premier League (NPL), Johnny Johnson Doeseb, was first to put shoulder to the wheel when he launched his well-packaged manifesto at a well-attended ceremony at a Windhoek hotel.

In his long-awaited policy statement, Doeseb touches on a raft of highly pertinent issues currently troubling Namibian football at all levels and goes on to offer an avalanche of much-needed solutions to the many challenge faced by the NFA and local football in general.

Doeseb must be applauded by all for taking the bold steps to publicly come out and unpack his plans and ambitions for the NFA, if elected into power this month.  Not only did Doeseb demonstrate his seriousness, care and passion for Namibian football, but publicly launching his manifesto equally showed it is high time we move away from the Stone Age tradition of wanting to sneak into the NFA’s top office through the backdoor and buying votes from the many ill-hearted regional football representatives.

With the public launch of his manifesto, Doeseb equally showed he is open for and has the calibre to positively take public scrutiny and has nothing to shy away from as far as his ambition and plans for the NFA and Namibian football are concerned. And that is highly commendable!
In this very critical hour of need for Namibian football, this country is in dire need of demonstrative leadership, someone who is accountable, selfless, patriotic and not shy of taking the wheel of the ship in the politics-infested waters of global football.

What has however left an unpleasant taste in the mouths of many caring Namibians is the unexplained silence and the dismaying shying away from the public by the other three NFA presidential candidates; namely Ranga Haikali, Mabos Vries and Izak Fredericks. Their baffling silence and them ducking serious requests from the media and public to come forward and share their plans and ambitions for the NFA clearly show that they have no real plans nor ideas for Namibian football but are perhaps simply in it for the perks and luxuries that come with being NFA president. Or how else does one explain their perplexing silence? In fact, national broadcaster NBC recently went out of its way to organise an open live debate for all four running candidates but only Doeseb agreed to NBC’s idea while the other three candidates refused to be part of the live discussion on TV. 

Furthermore, this publication also made similar efforts to have in-depth interviews with two of the three abovementioned candidates, but none of them showed any interest. This clearly shows who is serious and who is not. 

In my candid view, as per the name of this column, I think Haikali, Vries and Fredericks have so far demonstrated that they don’t really mean business and that they still subscribe to the old modalities of canvassing votes through whatever means possible as opposed to the new and transparent ways of running for FA presidencies.

The last two Fifa presidential elections demonstrated as to where the world is moving and why it is important for the public and footballers to be involved and above board in the process of information dissemination during elections.  

It is a shame and a disgrace that the other three candidates [Haikali, Vries and Fredericks] have somewhat chosen to run their campaigns in isolation, and that actually says a lot about them. A new president for the NFA will be elected on 22 February. Until next time, sharp sharp!!

2020-02-14  Otniel Hembapu

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