The wind of change will soon hit the dusty Ministry of Sport, Youth and National Services following the appointment of a new ministerial head.
Welcoming the wrestling, indoor indoor hockey team and para-swimming athletes on Wednesday, newly appointed sport minister Erastus Uutoni played the new broom act saying his term in office has brought the end of “brief-case administration.”
“As the minister, I want to inform all 52 sport codes and six umbrella bodies that the time for brief-case administration is over. It is over. Not in my time.
Tell me when you see brief-case administration and tell those who are busy with it that it is over,” said Uutoni
Uutoni read the riot act to sports officials, saying the maladministration in the sports arena makes sport and the entire ministry unattractive. The 57–year old in office after the sacking of Jerry Ekandjo is determined to blaze a trail, with special focus on accountability and restoring the image of the ministry that has taken a dent over the years.
“There are people and companies that want to develop sport but we are not approaching them the right way.
Also, they are afraid of what we will do with their money because there is no accountability. People get money and the next day they have a new suit, house and drive expensive cars. I’m here and I will not allow money to be squandered. It is my culture.
You see money given to send youth out of the country to an event but you see 10 directors also on the trip when it is meant for the young people. Sometimes they are even more than the participants. This should come to an end. We need to clean the house,” Uutoni said.
Echoing President Hage Geingob’s stance on reckoning, Uutoni said it is time to make the ministry attractive to those who are meant to benefit most from it and that he will not be afraid to take action against officials who fail to execute their mandate.
The former Ongwediva mayor said he wants to see strategic plans that are innovative to pull the ministry through the current economic turbulences. Gone are the days when ministry staff would finger the economic slump as the reason of inactiveness, he said.
“I don’t want to hear the excuse of there is no money. Each of us has to do our work to make sure we deliver regardless. I want to see strategic plans that we will share with all stakeholders for engagement. Important information is confined within the ministry buildings.
I want people to feel welcomed at the ministry. The youth do not have that love for the ministry. So let us open the doors for productive engagement.”
Uutoni advised coaches to expand the sports codes to all 14 regions. He stressed that sport administrators would be killing the nation if they do not expand codes to every setting of the Namibian child.
“We cannot only confine ourselves to Windhoek, Swakopmund and Walvis Bay. NO, let us expand. You have many young people there and they can do wonders given the chance. What I want to see is us going out and exposing them to different sport codes,” reiterated Uutoni.