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Badilisha Lugha KISWAHILI

Qualifications dispute in regional soccer leadership a bit unsettling

18th November 2012

Authorities at the Tanzania Football Federation (TFF) have directed that an election committee for the Dar es Salaam regional soccer body that was handling the processing of aspirants and listing of candidates ahead of scheduled polls early next month is disbanded.

One of the reasons is that the processing has not observed existing regulations, one of which is that aspirants for leadership in soccer be persons possessing certificates of secondary school education, ruling out veteran regional chairman Said Amin Bakhressa, who was more or less physically ejected. Was this rule intended for a person, or indeed for an uplifting of leadership first in Dar es Salaam region and in other parts of the country too?

It would have been one thing for the regulations to state that one shall be interviewed to figure out if such a person can understand say, English, or read reports and make a proper comment, or has personal experience of running a business organization that is registered and has been paying taxes for five years, etc.

Such a person can’t certainly be ignorant of how cash is collected and spent, or fail to see if a cash report has been properly prepared, or a building project, maintenance etc is being properly done. The idea of simply insisting on a secondary school leaving certificate leaves a dry taste in the mouth, since what is being talked about is leadership in soccer, where there is little difference with club leadership.

The fact that Bakhressa for instance has led the regional body for close to a decade or thereabouts, with little or no dissent from clubs and other stakeholders as far as anyone can remember means that he is competent for the post, and would thus qualify to defend his post.

When a regulation is produced about educational qualifications per se, as if any form four leaver is likely to be a better leader or controller of cash and other assets in the regional body, the sense of that assumption begs comprehension.

Unless of course there is an overriding legislation to that effect, so that even TFF finds itself constrained by a law that has been voted by Parliament, but if it arises from within TFF it doesn’t match with its real clientele.

While not much effort has been done or is visible from some current news stories on the matter, it is apparent that even the committee chairman, Muhiddin Ndolanga, himself a well qualified person and a past chairman of the former national soccer body, hesitated to apply that rule in the regional body.

In that case proper supervising authorities in TFF had to intervene to disband the committee, put up a new one, impose the strict observation of qualification rules and set a new date for polls, meanwhile telling incumbent chairman Bakhressa that he didn’t have the qualifications. Was all this just a rule, procedure?

It is entirely possible that no personal contentions are involved and TFF is just improving the rules, in like manner as some representative organs also have rules about formal education.

Yet for a game which also involves plenty of social activity or interaction, and at times the use of personal influence with this or that stakeholder at the grassroots level to get things done, to say anyone with Form IV education is better than the veteran regional chairman on that account alone is more or less disingenuous.

Whether that dimension was intended in the change of rules or it is surprising even TFF it is one thing, but if in any case the latter impression ever occurred, wouldn’t they let the Ndolanga committee do its work?  



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