Monday 12 April 2021
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‘Uutoni is siding with Mbidi’ – Rukoro

Although Sport minister Erastus Uutoni was being diplomatic with the truth at a recent presser, the lines are clear that he has chosen a side in solving the Namibia Football Association (NFA) saga, Barry Rukoro shared with to The Patriot this week.
The talll standing accounting officer of the NFA says although he is now willing to vacate the Secretary General seat after a breather following the association president Frans Mbidi departure, Rukoro says he is most disturbed by the manner in which Uutoni has handled the power struggles at the football association that have consequently fragmented the image of football in the country.
“If there is anything that has disappointed me in this whole issue, it is the manner in which the Minister has decided to engage. He went to great lengths to try and speak away to speak away the notion that has developed in the nation that he has chosen sides.”
“It is clear Uutoni has taken sides by making dragging my name into this situation. But he got it all wrong. In this matter, there is no Rukoro side.
There is simply a Mbidi side and the rest of the executive. Mbidi has taken the decision that my contract has expired and the rest of the executive said no. It has nothing to do with me. It is all between Mbidi and the executive,” said a disturbed Rukoro.
The football administrative stalwart begged up his allegation saying he was aware of secret and public meetings which the minster had with Mbidi and other members in the football fraternity to discuss the axing of Rukoro.
“We are aware of the meetings that have been taking place between Mbidi and the Minister.
We are aware that he met Mbidi and Fire Vatilifa after he became minister and another person who is not even a member of the Exco to discuss Barry and the contract.”
He adds; “we are aware of all other interaction that have taken place in the north. We are also aware that he is at the forefront of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) investigation. He is putting pressure on the ACC to find fault in me.
This is not pleasant at all.”
When put to Uutoni, the minister said he did not want to entertain Rukoro’s allegations adding that such talk will not bring about change in the limping football fraternity.
The Bureau of the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA) Council last week announced that it has appointed a normalization committee for the NFA.
Despite his contract coming to an end last year, Barry this week reported for duty saying if it were not for the incoming normalization committee, he would stay only until congress, as stipulated by his contract.
This time around, he says he is willing to vacate the office as soon as the normalization committee comes into office.
The commission, which will takes over the role of Exco will set the date for congress and alternatively oversee the elections that will elect a new leadership.
“At the moment I am at the office because no congress took place. There are no new executive members and with who do I negotiate my exit package if I want to leave?. How do I exit and who do I hand over to?” asked Rukoro.
He added; “If they [normalization committee] says I should leave, I will leave. In fact,  I want to go and I will tell them that I will leave.
As soon as the normalization committee comes in, they will receive a letter from me indicating that I want to handover and leave in peace. Until then the minister [Uutoni] must make peace with seeing my face around.”
“One thing that I never wanted to do is leave this football in the hands of Mbidi even for one week because I knew of the danger. That is why I said I will go with Mbidi. Now he is gone so I don’t mind going,” said Rukoro.
He urged the incoming leadership that if it wishes to bring back Mbidi, it will not be his problem to solve any longer.

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