What does the future hold for the Sports Writers Association of Liberia, SWAL?
That question has been examined in several ways by four presidential candidates who are standing for the association’s elections that are scheduled for today, Friday, February 07, 2014 at the PUL headquarters in Monrovia.
The candidates are Ms. Martina Brooks, who served as vice president in the outgoing administration, Roland Mulbah, who was also the secretary general of the outgoing administration, and new entrants Leroy Sonpon and Richard Manuba.
While the candidates’ manifestos sound impressive, there are considerable issues against which their abilities can be examined.
For example, Brooks and Mulbah are coming over from the last administration. What were the success stories of the last administration? “I’m still committed to serve SWAL,” Brooks has claimed, while Mulbah has insisted a robust leadership for SWAL.
How solid was the coordination between the officials of the last administration? Why has outgoing secretary general Mulbah, instead of supporting his vice president, decided to go it alone?
At a recent interview, outgoing secretary Mulbah complained that he was shut out of the last administration and as a result did not know, for example, how much the association has in its coffers.
The association’s bank account has been an issue of concern. Originally, he said the decision was made by SWAL for its bank book to be kept at its offices; its treasurer, however, made off with it and eventually lost it.
With the bank book missing, President Fomba Kanneh reportedly authorized a letter written by the assistant secretary Anthony Stephen, (why not the Secretary General Mulbah?), instructing the bank not to deal with anyone with its account number.
Mulbah also said he was not aware of the official list that was submitted to the Elections Commission.
What did Martina Brooks do as SWAL’s vice president to ensure that Secretary General Mulbah’s role was respected?
How come Secretary General Mulbah could not exert the authority entrusted him by the members to act on their behalf?
It is clear that Mulbah and Brooks do not see eye to eye. This can be attested to by anyone who listened to their hostile debates on LUX Radio recently.
Many sports writers have complained bitterly against the outgoing administration of which Ms. Brooks and Mr. Mulbah were part.
The question is: what they did not do in the last two years that convinces them and the voters that they are prepared to lead in the next two years?
The two new entrants, Leroy Sonpon and Richard Manubah, are very ambitious men who have promised to take the association to another level.
Manubah has been specific in what he could do for the association, highlighting three key issues: the institutionalization of SWAL, securing corporate support and reactivation of the Herbert Grigsby Lectures and the Activity Report Lecture Series.
Sonpon on the other hand promises a leadership with foresight and responsibility, coupled with his ability to raise funds to achieve SWAL’s objectives.
The four contestants have visions that in every respect could transform the association to gain the respect it is lacking, alhough some of the contestants have made vague promises that only angels can accomplish. But whoever wins, today’s elections must lead to the unity of the association.
Ms. Brooks has challenged her detractors, promising to be an unyielding candidate, daring them to stand in her way. And the fact that there are question marks in the outgoing administration, of which she was the vice president, does not suggest that she cannot be a good leader.
And the question voters need to examine is: which of the candidates is capable to achieve the long term dream of the association? Once a voter is convinced of a candidate’s sincerity to deliver the SWAL promise, then that individual is good to go.