The proposed policy that will stipulate the type of rewards due to Namibian athletes who put up stellar performances at international and local events is yet to be finalized.
The document was submitted to the Director of Sports desk in the Ministry of Youth, Sport and National Services on 19 September 2017 by the Namibia Sport Commission and has since that time not seen the light of day.
Queries on when the document will be finalized did not yield a positive response.
Director of Sports Sivute Katamba said the document has been finalized and will be submitted to cabinet in due course.
Katamba said: “We are done with the document. The only thing pending is cabinet submission which I will have to confirm with my colleagues.”
Sources close to the ministry say the Reward Policy is not the first document has recieved little priority since being relayed to the ministry, heralding a culture at the ministry to sit on pressing documents.
“The reason why the youth ministry will never progress in many things is because there is a cartel that is there to benefit financially and have no interest in doing their job. When there are trips, they make sure they are all sorted. These guys cover themselves so well that nothing will ever happen to them,” said an employer from the ministry who cannot be named.
In April, Namibia will participate at the Commonwealth Games in Australia, failure to implement the policy could delay rewards for athletes who return with medals.
“It will not be appropriate for our team to come back from the Commonwealth Games and there is no document that guides us on how we should reward them,” said a concerned Freddy Mwiya, Chief Administrator of the NSC.
According to Mwiya, the NSC role was to draft the document and make sure it was on the right desk. “Our work is done here so we will just have to wait on our colleagues from the other side to finalise it.”
Mwiya added that the delay in the passing of the policy hinders the sport commission’s efforts to budget properly. He added that it is not only about money but sport development too.
It goes without mention that Namibian athletes who excelled at international platforms over the years had to settle for anything given to them without any adopted guiding reward policy. Both male and female national soccer teams enjoy a history of funds delayed in payments after triumphs. Para-athletes Ananias Shikongo, Johannes Nambala and their guides had to wait for about a year before they got their monetary rewards.