News that the Netball Association of Malawi (Nam) has for the past six years failed to produce financial reports is not just disturbing but a mockery to the nation too. It somehow shows how some people take the nation for granted.
It is amusing that wise men and women in sports circles and institutions with a mandate to look into issues of checks and balances including those with huge stakes in the sport are silent as if nothing is amiss. But excuse me for I have failed to hold back my pen in joining those who are not comfortable with the stand taken by Nam, after all the Bible says; Wisdom that is not expressed is like a treasure that has been hidden-both are useless. But a person who covers his foolishness is better than one who keeps his wisdom to himself’.
If delegates to the 2013 Mzuzu Nam elective General Assembly were congratulated for quashing the deliberation of the financial report that was lacking, I would suggest that the sentiments be withdrawn, since they have failed the nation by not finishing the work they had started. Remember that it is the ending that mostly matters, otherwise look at the dribble by Nam- No financial report till now and the association has gone back to its sleeping couch, probably waiting for another elective general Assembly to bring the report.
The sports world understands that some Nam affiliates are not happy with the development but have opted for a laissez-faire approach for fear of paybacks, which as a person like me who understands that many people misjudge an advice or reminder of a neglected task as being un patriotic or sabotage, feel bad especially in Malawi of this era when you would not even guarantee your position or safety, since this time around nobody knows who a real enemy is.
Nevertheless, on the basis that the Nam financial reports are long overdue (as some of them were needed six years ago), and that affiliates have a stake in the management of an institution they are affiliated to, there is nothing to fear about in voicing out a concern unless Nam is either an island or use too much power such that its affiliates and stakeholders are just supposed to follow.
I will repeat what others have said in certain quarters about financial reports being an important tool in any institution as it acts as a mirror of financial engagements. And it is a known fact that key stakeholders sometimes require financial reports (audited and adopted) when releasing a next trench of funding, and it would not be extraordinary to see Nam failing to get some support if they will not work on this carelessness.
The elected members in Nam should know that staying six years without producing tangible financial reports defeats the whole purpose of transparency and accountability, and someone must feel ashamed about that! However if Nam does not need the report, we will not force the association to use the report, but we certainly will ask them to produce it for the stakeholders that include those who willingly or forcingly pumped millions of money for the good of the sport called netball.
In fact good managers would not miss a calendar of producing financial reports since the reports also assist in gauging the performance and current status of your institution financially and otherwise. So Nam should remember that the situation created is not healthy for the sport as it brings in some discontent at the same time breeding mistrust. What would people who love the sport and justice make up about the sound funding Nam and the netball gets from the government and the private sector without financial reports such a long period?
And for an elected manager to come public that stakeholders should not despair because the financial report is still being prepared is something people I have talked to fail to understand, with some asking who between the two is in despair? And which is which dear readers; is Nam failing to hold the Assembly because of lack of funding or lack of the financial report, or just a recipe of failure?
I will conclude asking Nam not to waste time challenging that people should inquire from them whether the rumours of ‘Nam-gate’ going around is certain circles are true or not. The simple thing to do is just to submit the much sought for report to put the issue to rest. No press releases, either, otherwise in the absence of a genuine financial report the netball fraternity and the world at large will be left with no option but continue speculating and even link the failure by Queens to participate at the Africa Netball Championship in Botswana is being part of the game.
As for the body called the Malawi National Sports Council, the Ministry called Youth and Sports Development and Honourable Grace Chiumia, wait for My Point of View on your role on the same.
- This article appeared on ‘My point of View’ column of the Daily Times, Wednesday, July 15, 2015