• August 10th, 2020

Namundjebo reflects on NFA tenure…speaks on finances, negligence and more

Chairperson of the outgoing Fifa-installed Normalisation Committee for the Namibia Football Association (NFA) Hilda Basson-Namundjebo yesterday spoke at length with New Era Sport about her tenure as interim head of NFA and how she impacted change at the local football federation.

Basson-Namundjebo touched on a raft of issues, starting with the organisation’s chaotic finances, human capital, lack of accountability and negligence of serious policy matters, and went on to highlight how her committee has brought about the desired changes at Football House in Katutura.
She said when they took over last year January, the NFA’s financial books were not in order, as the organisation’s finances had not been audited for the 2018 and 2019 fiscal years, which greatly affected the free flow of funding from world football governing body Fifa and generally NFA’s adherence to set accounting norms.

“Obviously, financial audits were a big deal because that was non-existent in the past, but we have worked hard and are now up to date with those [2018 and 2019 audits] – and these are some of the achievements for us as a committee… there were also other strategic objectives and running the NFA daily was one; we had to normalise how employees come to work and make sure people are remunerated for work done, and also them understanding their job descriptions. We haven’t entirely completed the job descriptions component but we have now hired a consultant that will help complete that process,” she highlighted some of the work done by her five-member committee, whose reign ended on 15 March.

Adding to the work done by the Fifa-appointed committee, which consisted of herself, Franco Cosmos, Gaby Ahrens, Matti Mwandingi and Vivien Katjiuongua, Basson-Namundjebo said they also came up with a well-structured organogram for the NFA to help properly designate work to all staff and to also see where the gaps are in the structures. 

There was also no one responsible to oversee and coordinate activities in all regions, and that has been taken care of now under the new organogram, she added. 

“Plus, there was no one appointed to look after the NFA’s commercial interest – and as you might know, the many economic effects, which also now include coronavirus, it is important to have such a person in place. As you might also know, when we took over, the NFA was already not getting any money from government. By early this month [March], when we were preparing to hand over to the new leadership, the Brave Warriors had played 19 matches and the ladies’ teams across the board were all active. This is without any funding from government. We also saw that sponsors regained confidence in the organisation, as Skorpion Zinc and Unicef remained on board because of the manner in which we were running the finances. Sponsors such as Debmarine Namibia, Namibia Breweries Limited and others remain on board; we are thankful”.

On the Brave Warriors 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) campaign under their watch, she said for the NFA has for the first time managed to run Namibia’s Afcon campaign on a “profit” because they returned almost N$7 million back to government from the N$19 million budget they got for 2019 Afcon.

“From the N$19 million budget for Afcon, we oversaw the Brave Warriors campaign and managed to return N$7 million back to government; we still owe government N$400 000 from the same budget, which still has to return to government, and that will be done, as we have been in talks with the ministry. Another noteworthy achievement was getting all regions in good standing with the NFA and that success ultimately led to us hosting a successful elective congress for new leadership to takeover. All NFA legal bodies such as the Appeals Committee, Audit and Compliance Committee and others, which were not in place when we took over, are now in place and that’s positive. Training of staff at various levels, from women’s desk to technical positions, took place and continue to take place,” she added.

As for the NFA’s historic debts, the astute businesswoman said they have managed to partly deal with the federation’s huge debt backlog but more still remains to be done in that area by the new leadership once Fifa has released its grant to Namibia in a few months to come. “I can confidently say we leave the NFA in a better state than we found it – financially and otherwise.”

Otniel Hembapu
2020-03-27 10:34:44 | 4 months ago

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