WINDHOEK – New Era Sport has been reliably informed that close to seventy sport officers, attached to the portfolio ministry have been effectively rendered redundant, seating idle in the comfort of their well decorated offices drawing their monthly salaries unhindered without having to shed an ounce of sweat.
It has come to light that inadequate funds for envisaged projects made it extremely impossible to implement sport projects in the various regions.
Our mole, who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals, says it has been almost two and half years now that sport officers across all regions, including the headquarters are left to kick their heels in frustration.
Sport officers are tasked to oversee the successful implementation of various sports programmes in all the 14 regions as defined per their designated functions.
This includes development programmes in their respective regions and supervising schools and community sport activities, including athletes living with disabilities and marginalised women in sport.
“We are constantly told there’s no money to fulfill our mandate yet we have Cuban coaches and technical staff on the government’s payroll whilst doing nothing,” fumes a frustrated sport officer.
Meanwhile, it has been established through reliable sources that the Office of the Attorney General (AG) advised the portfolio ministry to scale down the number of foreign coaches/trainers – only for the figure of the “Cuban de Sport” entourage to balloon to an unmanageable total of 10 from six.
When contacted to shed light on the said obstacles, Oshana Region’s Sport Officer Enchius Nangolo’s response was to the contrary. “To be brutally honest, money does not affect us at all because we are still making use of the government’s vehicle to execute our functions effectively in conjunction with the Namibia Schools Sports Union (NSSU).”
It’s a widespread phenomenon because of the ongoing financial handicap experienced by the entire country – a sad situation that hamstrung development.
“As it stands, some of us are only surviving through the few sponsored programmes otherwise we are only spending time in the office literally doing nothing,” said Erongo regional veteran sport officer Bertholdt Karumnedu.
“We are left to fend for ourselves because in the modern world controlled by internet as a formula of communication, there’s no way that one can function properly in the absence of financial resources.
“The situation has become untenable that crucial vacancies are no longer filled when incumbents reached retirement age,” said Gabriel Freyer, the Chief Regional Sport Officer in the vastly populated //Kharas Region.
“Complaining on this issue is like looking for a needle in a haystack, there’s not enough currency in circulation and as a result, the whole country is affected by this ongoing economic meltdown.
“Apart from sporadic schools sport activities and the annual Namibian Newspaper Youth Cup, there’s nothing tangible going on this side,” quibbled Zambezi Region’s Senior Sports Officer Ben Lumponjani.
When contacted to shed light on these worrisome developments, Executive Director in the portfolio ministry Emma Kantema-Gaomas, insisted that our crew put the questions in writing, a request that was dully honoured. However, at the time of going to print, there was no trace of response from the high office.