17 May 2017

Namibia: Boxing Board Denies Tjombe Allegations

The Namibian Professional Boxing and Wrestling Control Board (NPBWCB) has hit back at Anita Tjombe, describing her as an attention-seeking individual who is bent on tarnishing the image of boxing in Namibia.

Responding to questions sent to the board following a press conference by Iron Lady Promotions' in Windhoek on Thursday, Philip Mwandingi, the Board's vice chairperson denied all the allegations saying they do not hold water.

Tjombe questioned the Minister of Sport, Youth and National Service, Jerry Ekandjo on his decision to appoint Ellison Hijarunguru as chairperson of the board, despite the latter's well-documented history in his dealings.

Hijarunguru was arrested and charged in October 2011 following an Anti-Corruption Commission investigation on the alleged corrupt use of tickets at Air Namibia.

His case is still pending in court.

"How were the new board members appointed and on what grounds were the appointments done? Who was consulted?" asked a perplexed Tjombe.

She went on questioning why the telephone lines and Internet at the control board's office are cut, what happens to the sanctioning money for fights if the board's bank account is in a minus and why Joe Kaperu was suspended from secretary-general.

Tjombe said Hijarunguru last year cancelled a boxing tournament by Iron Lady Promotions in October because she refused to bribe him.

When asked what steps she took about all these allegations, Tjombe said she and Kinda Nangolo, of Kinda Boxing Academy, have tried approaching Minister Ekandjo but to no avail.

Respndng to the allegations in a statement issued Monday, Mwandingi said the cancellation of the boxing tournament by Tjombe was because she had not submitted any of the required documents for staging a boxing tournament.

"There were no contracts signed by the boxers and the medical exams were done by a lab that is not recognised by NPBWCB."

As for Kaperu's issues, he said the board is finalising it and as soon as the case is finalised they will make the decision public.

Mwandingi questioned the timing of Tjombe's accusations, asking why she did not notify the relevant authorities of the alleged bribery request by the board chairperson.

He said the control board does not have structural capacity and relevant human resources to handle boxing tournaments, hence Board members are doing the work for compensation.

Mwandingi noted the control board is a government funded institution experiencing cash flow problems like others affiliated to Government, hence the cutting of some services such as telephones and Internet.

He denied that the Board's bank account is at minus, saying Tjombe does not have access to the account, hence her information is incorrect.

- Nampa

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