Yanga and Azam Must Roll Up Their Sleeves

Serious business begins now for our representatives as CAF-organised competitions go into the first round.

Yanga face Rwanda's APR in the African Champions League while Azam FC visit Bidvest Wits of South Africa in the Confederation Cup.

Zanzibar's JKU will also be playing SC Villa of Uganda in the Confederation Cup. All matches take place away from home.

No hocus-pocus. It is high time for our clubs to walk the talk.

Yanga had a foretaste of the Champions League last month when they played Cercle de Joachim of Mauritius and dumped them out on a 3-0 aggregate. That was a warm-up to the real competition. It was already in the script that they would sail through. Big teams rarely fail the first hurdle.

However, Yanga face the moment of truth against APR who eliminated Mbabane Swallows on a 4-2 aggregate. The Jangwani men have hardly gone past the first round in recent years.

Revelation that the APR-Yanga winner will square up against the winner of the Al Ahly-CRD Libolo tie is already sending ripples of shock to the Mainland champions.

Yanga have never ousted any team from the North African region and with a potential battle against Egypt's Al Ahly in sight, there is a general sense of fear creeping into the minds of fans.

Yanga have a good squad and what they need is self-belief otherwise they can see off the Rwanda champions and as usual collapse in the hands of either CRD Libolo or Al Ahly. Azam, who are only eight years old, have showed that they are a force to reckon with even though they have not gone far in CAF competitions.

Today's match presents another chance to achieve their ambitious goal of winning the coveted trophy. It isn't going to be easy though.

However, judging by the Wits' recent form, Azam can dare to dream. Like Yanga, they also need self-confidence.

With millions of cash invested in players, it is our belief that our clubs have finally come of age.

We can only wish the teams luck and call on the players to roll up their sleeves.

REACTIVATE GIFT REGISTERS

An exchange of gifts is a universal phenomenon that ranges from a peasant who gives a chicken to a visiting relative to a president who presents a sculpture to a visiting head of state.

Gifts embody a high sentimental value, beyond which they are at best fake, and, at worst, veiled bribes. Hence the rationale of recording gifts for public servants in ministries and public service agencies in special registers, to determine whether they pass that test or not.

Enforcement of the law to that end has been lax, hence the laudable move by the minister in charge of public service and good governance, Ms Angellah Kairuki, to reactivate it.

The laxity is part of the rot encompassing corruption, abuse of office and violation of ethics that the new government is striving to cleanse.

We believe the initiative will pay off, for a minister, permanent secretary, commissioner, director-general, managing director and so forth, would confidently declare receipt of a carton of gin as a Christmas gift or a dress as a present a wedding anniversary commemoration party.

However, one would not only shy way from linking oneself to a brand new car sourced from a businessman vying to win a lucrative tender, but decline the offer outright, for fear of being exposed, sanctioned and shamed.

Source: All Africa