Police bands to handle anthems

Seth Kamuhanda

The Ministry for Information, Culture and Sports has ordered Police brass band to manage national anthems during all international matches to be played at any stadium in the country, following last Saturday’s disgraceful incident that resulted from malfunction of compact disk.

The order comes in the wake of a compact disk failure that led to the delay of Tanzania and Morocco national anthems sessions during the national team’s first leg of the 2012 African Nations Cup qualifier at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam.
The national anthems had therefore to be played few minutes before resumption of the second half, a frustration that reverberated throughout the country, including the United Republic of Tanzania, Jakaya Kikwete.
The ministry’s permanent secretary Seth Kamuhanda said yesterday the order has been issued by Minister George Mkuchika in an attempt to do away with dependency on compact disks when it comes to playing national anthems.
“Minister Mkuchika has now ordered Police brass band to take care of the task as a move to do way with unexpected failures should be playing the national anthems. We used Police brass bands to play all national anthems in the past,” said Kamuhanda.
He said the minister has also asked the Tanzania Football Federation (TFF) to take stern measures against people who were tasked to oversee the playing of national anthems.
“The CD malfunction was an embarrassment to President Jakaya Kikwete, who was the guest of honour in the match, and the rest of the local soccer fans who turned up at the National Stadium,” he said.
Kamuhanda said the government was annoyed by what happened on Saturday and the decision to use Police brass band basically aims at ending the shame once and for all.
“TFF has already told us that it will act on the matter accordingly and we hope they will live up to their words,” he said.
“The federation has a duty to investigate the situation and the ministry is there to give out advice on anything pertaining to the issue.”
He also noted that the music equipment at the National Stadium was in good shape and there were people assigned to man it.
Tanzania Football Federation’s president Leodegar Tenga suspended the body’s information officer Florian Kaijage following the CD malfunction.
Kaijage was assigned to oversee the playing of the national anthems three days in advance with repeated reminders thrice but all efforts proved failure at the end.
The CD malfunction at the National Stadium on Saturday apparently was not a surprise to most of the domestic soccer fans.
It was for the second time this year and third in three years. First it was observed when Cameron played Taifa Stars in the African Nations Cup qualifier in June 2008.
As if it was not enough, the pre-World Cup friendly between Brazil and Stars on July 7 followed suit while the soccer federation completely looked unfazed by the incident.
The Morocco-Stars match played last Saturday was beamed live by one of the world’s most powerful and popular sporting channels, the Supersport, based in South Africa.
The country’s image has been tarnished beyond repair at the expense of few people, including Kaijage.
Most of the sports journalists had expressed their discontent over the competence of Kaijage in handling the media.
The Saturday’s incident has come at the time the soccer federation has for no apparent reason provided a three-month contractual extension to Kaijage despite his delicate relationship with most of the sports journalists in the country.
Actually, Kaijage’s conspicuous failures during his tenure were in most cases being ‘swallowed’ by the TFF president, Tenga.
“Tenga had it coming and he is the one actually responsible for providing cover to an incompetent personnel in the federation,” said one of the journalists yesterday.
Kaijage has also been on the spotlight by journalists for flawing accreditation whenever an international match is to be staged in the country.
He has failed to devise a trouble-free mechanism to accredit journalists during those matches.

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