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By: Kelvin Chiringa

Sports minister Agnes Tjongarero has just disclosed that her ministry does not have the slightest idea in terms of how much is needed to renovate the dilapidated sports infrastructure right across the country as the costing has not been done.

The cost estimates of the extent of damage inflicted to stadia or renovation costs can only be calculated by the works ministry, but this is yet to be done, despite Tjongarero raising the issue with them, she said.

The minister expressed this with The Villager when she was extending her hearty congratulations to race sensation, Christine Mboma for scooping the BBC African Sports Personality of the Year award.

The athlete’s international exploits last year reignited debate that Namibia needs to give a major facelift to various sports facilities if talent is to be properly cultivated.

“This one can not be a one-man-show. It can also not be a ministry of sports’ show. What we have done is we have asked, because we do not have the capacity as the ministry of sports, the works ministry to do the costing.

“We are stuck at the costing because we have asked the ministry of works transport and whatever that long name, to do the costing for us. Once you have the costing, you can go out to the private sector, to the embassies, to whoever, and ask for money.

“What can I say if I go to any of the embassies, any of the companies, how much do I need? And that is where we are stuck now. I hope, now, now, now, in January, the ministry of works will come back with the costing to us so that I can know.

“Even if I go to the president of CAF and ask him, what am I going to ask? Am I going to ask N$3 billion? Am I going to ask N$50 000, what is it am I going to ask? And that is where we are now stuck actually, to be short with you,” she said.

Tjongarero has in the meantime expressed excitement at the latest exploits of Namibia’s Mboma, who last week Friday and over the weekend threw the nation into a frenzy of celebration for taking the BBC crown.

“Oh, I am over the moon. I am very, very happy. I am so proud of her and I am, I do not know what to say but I am very excited. I just want to tell her, keep it up girl, you are on the right path, you can see now how the Namibians are behind you.

“We have voted for you and as I can say, not only the Namibians because Namibian are two point something million. In the competition there were people from Kenya, South Africa, all over who are more millions than us but you came out first. It means many of the other parts also voted for you. It means you are the best,” she said.

Shadow minister for sports in the official opposition, Inna Hengari also congratulated her.

But she said more still needs to be done to lift up Namibia’s sports facilities.

“When one looks at the different ministries and when it comes to budget cuts, the allocation of money, the ministry of sports and national services has always been sort of the illegitimate child in terms of budget cuts,” she said.


Kelvin Chiringa

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