Tanzania Daily News (Dar es Salaam)

4 January 2013

Tanzania: Action Needed On Stolen Simba Cash

SINCE the news on stolen cash at Simba Sports Club emerged, implicating some officials within the club, ripples of shock engulfed the soccer loving community.

Many expect more to be revealed and appropriate action taken against the culprits. In a movie-like scene, six armed robbers on Saturday night held terrified Simba officials at gunpoint and made away with over 7m/- cash.

The stolen money was the club's allocation from the international friendly match against Tusker of Kenya at the National Stadium on the same day. The robbers, riding three motorbikes, raided a car carrying three people, including accountant Eric Sekiete (28), executive committee member Said Pamba and a university student, Stanley Phillip (23).

They shot several times in the air to scare the public away at Sinza Makaburuni area in Kinondoni and made away with 7,590, 000/- and 2,000 US dollars. In one bizarre account, it was reported that before dashing away with the money, the robbers were heard accusing Simba officials of swindling club money while the team was losing matches. They said they had suffered long enough.

Police thus suspect an inside job. While we feel sorry for what had happened to the unfortunate Simba officials, again the circumstances surrounding the incident leaves a lot to be desired. It even raises eyebrows and tells us how our clubs are being operated -- unprofessionally.

Above all, the incident occurred far from the club's location on Msimbazi Street in Ilala municipality, which brings another question as to why the accountant decided to go with the institution money to his home? Is this what he always does? What are the procedures for handling club money?

Indeed, the conspicuous shortfall has baffled most soccer fans, most seeing glaring problems with the 'link' between the proper management at our clubs and the failing quest to improve our football standard.

It beats logic seeing a club struggling to improve its balance sheets while at the same time seeing those at the management level fail to protect the little that the clubs are earning.

Something must be terribly wrong somewhere, particularly with accountability. An instant solution must be quickly worked out by the authorities concerned before it is too late; otherwise our clubs will completely crumble or be declared bankrupt.

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