The Botswana Premier League this week announced a new partnership with Mitre as its official match ball sponsor. This announcement shocked some BPL clubs who feel the announcement comes after they have already procured balls from different brands.
A document leaked to BG Sport this week indicates that BPL affiliates will be using Mitre match ball for all their competitions. “Because of this, we would like to advise all the clubs not to use any brand in our competitions. Our match officials will bring Mitre balls to all our official matches,” BPL Chief Executive Officer Thabo Ntshinogang said through the leaked document. “The ball we will be using this season is the Mitre Delta FIFA Pro.”
Ntshinogang further explains that the Mitre Delta Pro is widely used especially in the EFL, the largest single body of professional clubs in European football-including EFL, EFL Cup and Check trade Trophy. The BPL boss further explained that the Mitre brand has been used by the EFL for over 40 years. “In 2017 Mitre were unveiled as the football partners of the Football Federation Australia Cup. Mitre is also used in all CAF competitions for the next seven years.”
Through the statement, Ntshinogang further explains: “I would therefore like to remind clubs not to use any other brand at our games other than Mitre.” He said the BPL has since negotiated a deal for the teams to purchase the Mitre balls for P800 each, should they require to do so. Meanwhile, sources from some BPL affiliates teams have expressed their misgivings over the recent announcement.
“How do you seal a deal like this? Clubs are expected to purchase balls for P800.00. That is too much. The average cost of a football unit is P500. And most of the teams need close to 30 balls.” The source further explained that his team has already purchased over 20 balls as the league has already started. “They are making the announcement late into the season. We have not even received our team grants.”
Lobatse BTC Premiership outfit Extension Gunners this week declared their doubts with the re-introduced double header games. Gunners' spokesperson Willoughby Kemoen did not mince words when he declared that the double header system will not work for the Peleng side.
The double headers were re-introduced by the Botswana Premier League this season in a bit to pull more supporters to the stadium and assist teams that do not command a lot of support. “We want every team to sell their tickets going forward because the support base is not the same. Gunners have been slotted in more double headers than any other team. We have about five double headers and the BPL must rectify this,” Kemoen said.
The Mapantsula mouth piece went on to address the ticketing system during double header games. Kemoen said they intended to consult their rival teams so that tickets could be split on a 50-50 basis during both home and away games.“We cannot be imposing on the supporters and expect them to pay tickets for teams they do not support. Some supporters may choose to come to the games later than usual to watch the teams they support during double header games.”
The BPL announced the return of the double header fixtures at its Annual General Assembly earlier this year. Addressing affiliates at the AGA, BPL Vice Chairman, Solomon Mantswe said two games will be played back to back at a chosen venue. “This will not only be about generating revenue for smaller teams with less number of supporters.
The double feature concept will improve attendance at the games and provide much needed sponsorship mileage,” Mantswe said. Meanwhile Gunners are expected to face Gaborone United at the University of Botswana Stadium this evening (Friday).
The Botswana Premier League (BPL) has been accused of short changing and disregarding the football technical experts who are often tasked with choosing or selecting the Man of the match in all the 30 games of the season.
The job requires years of experience and expertise in football. However, sources close to the matter have revealed that those who have sat in the BPL Man of the match panel have come and gone after being disgruntled by high ranking officials. “It is not easy work, it requires a certain amount of knowledge and commitment.
“We are required to travel around the country all year round but there are no financial rewards. We are mostly provided with accommodation if we work outside our stations. There are freebees, meals and the opportunity to sit in the VIP section during key games like cup finals but that is about it,” said one of the experts.
The source who spoke on condition of anonymity said the current state of affairs is no longer sustainable. We cannot go on with the gentleman agreement with BPL officials in this regard. “The standard practice in more advanced football leagues see to it that the Man of the match panel is rewarded financially.”
Furthermore, the source said members of the panel are not provided with adequate working conditions, especially during normal league games as they are made to sit among supporters during league fixture. “It is time we are compensated properly because we do our job well.
“Some members of the panel were on duty the whole day during the recent BTC Charity Cup and they were given caps and T-shirts as a token of appreciation. This cannot go on; the BPL must ensure that they acknowledge our work and extend it to the league sponsor.”
The concerned source further explained that the winners of the Man of the match title takes home P1000 and airtime vouchers every week, while members of the panel walk away empty handed. Some of us even sit in the Player of the season panel during the annual BPL awards where the winner walks away with P100 000 while we continue to offer our services for free.
The Man of the match panel is guided by a set of rules that requires them to properly execute their work. The prize winner is solely chosen on the basis of performance including influence in the game. Goal keepers win the prize when they make extraordinary saves including distribution and command of his area. The Man of the match assessment tool which scores players from poor, fair, good, very good and excellent requires the player to have the ability to play with both feet, control and passing, dribbling and feinting, shooting at goal, heading and tackling.
The tool also includes tactical awareness such as role understanding, reading the game, decision making. There is also mental strength attributes including confidence, will power, focus, enthusiasm and leadership. Reached for comment, the BPL Chief Executive Officer, Thabo Ntshinogang said he had sent a response to the BG Sport questionnaire with regards to the matter. The response had not reached BG Sport at press time despite dispatched to him over 24 hours earlier.
Less than a year in operation, the controversial Botswana Defence Force fleet of Landrovers bought for P161 million from the United Kingdom is facing mechanical challenges.
The 500 second-hand Land Rover 110 Defenders started arriving in the country during the last quarter of last year in batches via Namibia. The last batch is allegedly expected to arrive this year. The procurement of the obsolete vehicles was allegedly spearheaded by Office of the President early last year and BDF played no major role save for viewing and collection at Witham (Specialist Vehicles) Ltd - a UK second seller.
Although the OP refuted playing part in the agreement to purchase units of the Defenders LR110 4×4 SUV for the BDF, at a cost of P161.9 million, it has been at the centre of the controversial procurement. According to sources at Sir Seretse Khama Barracks (BDF Headquarters) the Landrovers have now become a liability to the BDF within a short space of time. It is alleged that most of the Landrovers which were dispatched in areas such as Plateau and Linyanti have broken down and were towed back to Kasane. The vehicles were dispatched for patrols in those areas.
BDF Director, Directorate of Protocol and Public Affairs Colonel Tebo Dikole has confirmed that the Landrovers are experiencing mechanical problems. “BDF last year procured what is labeled as EXCESS DEFENCE EQUIPMENT from the United Kingdom (UK) Military. Excess Defence Equipment is equipment disposed by an army, in this case the UK Army as a result of downsizing.
“This equipment ranges from never used to hardly used. Some of the Landrovers were never used and others had mileages between 7000km to 50 000km. It is common knowledge that sometimes equipment, whether military or not that has not been in use for a while will likely display some form of minor mechanical faults that require minimal repairs,” said Colonel Dikole in an interview.
The Landrovers are said to have started experiencing mechanical problems and some of the parts that have been procured do not match the specifications of the vehicles. Some of the vehicles are said to have only been in use for less than four (4) months before they broke down. According to sources some of the parts that have been procured are stock-piled at the barracks and have been rendered useless.
It has been estimated that the parts have cost the BDF close to P30 million. Colonel Dikole stated that any fleet - new or used - remains susceptible to mechanical failures as well as wear and tear. “In all our operational areas, which are in rugged terrain, the BDF cannot insulate its equipment against mechanical challenges coupled with wear and tear that result from such hostile environments,” said the BDF spokesperson.
According to Colonel Dikole it is against this background that service support is provided in operational areas, and if this fails vehicles are backloaded to the nearest repair facility. He refuted claims that there is a stockpile of spares amounting to close to P30 million.“The fact of the matter is that only parts worth P1, 8 million were procured and contrary to your claims are not stockpiled, as they are used to maintain the vehicles. Please note that as a cost saving measure the best international practice is for militaries to consider excess defence equipment in the constant review of their inventory.
The Landrover fleet procured last year has augmented the existing fleet and this has enhanced our operational reach,” Colonel Dikole pointed out. According to reports production of the Land Rover 110 Defender has ceased in the United Kingdom and has been phased out of military service in both the UK and Botswana.
Justice Singh Walia of the Court of Appeal has directed that the power struggle between Botswana Public Employees Union (BOPEU) National Executive Committee (NEC) be heard today (Friday).
Justice Walia directed through a letter dated August 23rd 2018 that the parties file their papers starting Monday this week until Thursday. The legal battle has pitted BOPEU as 1st Applicant followed by Ogaufi Masame, Zibani Philemon, Mosalagae Tlhako and Motswaledi Monaiwa against union President Masego Mogwera as 1st Respondent followed by Tlhabologo Galekhutle (Treasurer), Martin Gabobake (1st Deputy President), Topias Marenga (General Secretary) and Ketlhapelang Karabo (Deputy General Secretary).
Philemon and team are appealing a decision by Lobatse High Court Judge Godfrey Nthomiwa dismissing their urgent application to remove Mogwera and crew from office and uphold their suspension. Philemon and team have since filed their notice of motion to appeal with the court. In the notice of motion, the applicants want the decision of the court a quo dated the 17th August 2018, dismissing the application of the Appellants with costs be set aside.
They want it to be replaced with a rule nisi calling upon all the Respondents to show cause why an order should not be made declaring the decision of the NEC made at the meeting of the 28th July 2018, suspending Mogwera and team pending investigation and possible disciplinary action for unauthorised secondment remuneration.
Another requested order is for court to direct Mogwera and team to vacate BOPEU premises and an order directing and authorising a deputy sheriff of the court with the assistance of the police to escort them out of BOPEU premises in the event they fail to comply.
In the grounds of appeal papers seen by this publication they argue that the Judge erred by holding that the Appellant has failed to establish the requisites of urgency whereas the same were established.
“The matter is urgent because there is a fierce struggle over who is legitimate to govern the Union, due to the fact that there is being suspension and counter suspension by members of the NEC of BOPEU,” they argue.
Philemon, who is a member of the NEC of BOPEU by virtue of his position as the Gaborone Region 3 Regional Chairperson, was appointed as the acting president, Ogaufi Masame as the acting 1st Deputy President, Eronah Kolobetso as the acting 2nd Deputy President, Kebonyemodisa Watota as the acting general secretary and Mosalagae Tlhako as the acting Treasurer General and Emmanuel Tlale as the acting deputy secretary general.
Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) President Advocate Duma Boko has indicated that they are still waiting for the letter from Registrar of Societies confirming the error communicated in the letter dismissing UDC as a party.
The Registrar of Societies, Davids Okello-Wengi wrote to the UDC Secretary General in response to the two constitutions submitted by the warring parties within the UDC. Responding to the submitted constitutions the Registrar said that UDC is not a political party but a cooperation agreement by the four political parties for a common political goal.
“All four parties are listed in the schedule, therefore, in our opinion, the registration of UDC’s Constitution falls outside the scope of the Act,” reads the letter in part which some within the UDC have described as confusing.Advocate Boko said the response by the Registrar was contradictory and they had to meet face to face with Attorney General to clear the matter. He said that is time they discovered that the utterances by the Registrar that UDC was not a party should not have been made.
Okello-Wengi described in the letter that the term “society” is defined in Section 3 of the Act to exclude any political party listed in the Schedule of the Act. The Registrar listed the political parties in the Schedule to the Act as BMD, BCP, BPP and BNF. “Therefore, the registration of political parties falls outside the scope of the Act,” reads the letter dated 13 August 2018.Advocate Boko said that during the engagement with the Registrar and AG it was agreed that the response was erroneous.
“They said the last part of the letter was not in order. It was at that meeting that even the AG discovered ambiguity of the Societies Act and has promised to attend to it. It was disrespectful of the Registrar to have written the letter in such a manner. “We were not submitting a new Constitution but we were submitting amendments to the UDC 2012 Constitution. That 2012 UDC Constitution has transitional clause which allows us to make amendments that is as simple as that.
There is no confusion or what-so-ever”, The UDC leader stated. He said they have told the Registrar to write another letter to clear the air because it seems people have been confused by the letter from Registrar.The Constitution which has been submitted to Registrar of Societies has divided the four UDC constituents- Botswana Congress Party (BCP), Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD), Botswana National Front (BNF) and Botswana People’s Party (BPP).
BCP and BNF are in one corner pitted against BMD and BPP in another corner as they oppose the submitted constitution. Both BCP and BNF set themselves targets during their respective Conferences last month. BNF resolved that having noted that the new UDC Constitution has been filed with the Registrar of Societies the BNF should ensure that the process is concluded within twenty-one (21) days.
The BCP on the other hand resolved that having been appraised and deliberated thereof on the developments within the UDC collective, conference resolved to remain in the UDC, but directed that due to limited time before registration of the general election, all outstanding matters within the UDC should be resolved by mid-August 2018.Addressing a political rally in Gabane this past weekend, Advocate Boko called for calm within the coalition movement.
He said BCP is a bonafide member of the UDC and wondered what the confusion was. He told the rally that the BMD leader Advocate Sidney Pilane has bowed himself and indicated that he would listen to Advocate Boko as the party leader. “Advocate Pilane has told me that I should speak and he would listen. He would follow my instructions. Let us refrain from attacking him because he has made it clear to me that he wants to work with us to liberate Batswana. If he is ready to work with us, why should we always attack him?” asked Advocate Boko.
The UDC leader dismissed claims that he is afraid of Advocate Pilane. He said none of the insinuations should be taken seriously. He pointed out that they have even fought their legal wars at court but that should not divide them. Advocate Boko said differences within the UDC leadership should not be treated as fights.“We will always differ but at the end we would come to an agreement,” he said. For his part Advocate Pilane said presidents of the four contracting partners should sign for the amendments to be incorporated into the constitution.
He said the signing should be done as a matter of urgency. The BMD leader however cautioned that the signing should not be just for the sake of signing. He posited that every party that signs should do so with commitment that all the UDC candidates would be supported and voted for by all UDC members regardless of the party they come from.
There has been talk that some members of BCP and BNF have vowed not to support BMD candidates during the 2019 general election. The argument has been that BMD do not have credible candidates to win elections for UDC.
Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) Central Committee and Electoral Board failed Bulela Ditswe candidates in the primaries that were held this past weekend, Botswana Guardian can reveal.The BDP conducted primaries in 40 constituencies where over 1000 candidates participated.
The publication has discovered that even though the central committee and Electoral Board promised to deliver a credible election during the 11th August 2018 Palapye consultative meeting, it was a different story on the ground when primaries were finally conducted.
Prior to the Palapye meeting there were complaints about the voters’ rolls.
Names of voters were missing while others had their names moved from their polling stations to others. Some of the people were not in the voters’ roll even though they had proof that they have registered.BDP Secretary General Mpho Balopi told the Palapye meeting and subsequently a press conference on that day that they together with the Electoral Board would ensure that all the outstanding issues would have been resolved by the time the primary elections are held.
He stated that most of the problems raised by candidates would be addressed through resolutions that were taken during the meeting at Majestic Five in Palapye. “We have decided that people who appear in the voters’ roll but do not have membership cards would be allowed to vote using Omang.
This is because the number in the Omang card is the same that appears in the membership card. We have also set up our polling stations in such a way that a person would not be able to vote more than once which is why we have also introduced the use of ink for the voters. So through the assessing of complaints, we have discovered that some of them would be addressed by these decisions,” Balopi pointed out.
Balopi revealed that complaints that would not be addressed through these resolutions the Central Committee and Electoral Board had resolved that Political Education and Elections Committee and a special team would be assigned to those constituencies. “No one would be sidelined and we will ensure free and fair elections,” posited Balopi. An observation by this publication during the primaries has proved that the party leadership failed dismally to do what it had committed to do.
Final voters’ rolls that were used during voting still came with some names missing. Some people who had proof that they have registered were denied to vote because they did not appear in the voters’ rolls. This proved to be a difficult exercise as candidates and polling agents had different stories to tell to one another.
Some candidates were explaining what was communicated during the Palapye meeting while the polling agents indicated that they have been instructed to work within the limits of what they have been mandated to do which was to ensure that only people in the voters’ rolls should be allowed to vote.
This has culminated in most of the candidates - both council and Parliamentary - indicating that they do not accept the outcome of the elections. They argue that there were irregularities in the conduct of the elections. The most affected are those who were incumbent for council and parliament where others were ministers.
BDP Electoral Board Chairman Peter Siele told this publication in an interview that he could not comment on the matter because his committee is still compiling reports from returning officers on the elections. He said his committee which is the sub-committee of the party Central Committee was scheduled to meet yesterday (Thursday) in the morning to make final scrutiny on the report.
“After looking at reports from returning officers we would then look at other issues that have been raised and come up with our report as the committee. After doing that we would then meet with party Chairman who is also Vice President Slumber Tsogwane and map a way forward. Until then there is nothing tangible that could be shared at this point,” said Siele.
Incumbent Member of Parliament for Tati East Guma Moyo brushed aside a challenge from his bitter rival Sean Sebele in the past weekend Bulela Ditswe, polling 2730 votes against Sebele’s 1929.
The other contender, Kurusa trailed behind with 400 voters. Guma’s victory defied the mood expressed by Botswana Democratic Party electorate ahead of the primaries. There had been complaints that Guma rarely holds kgotla meetings to address issues of national developments in the constituency and hence must be voted out.
The MP has admitted in previous interviews that he has his own style of addressing issues in his constituency apart from kgotla meeting, but it seems this did not sit well with the electorate.In Tsamaya – Guma’s home village – voters threw their lots behind Sebele who hails from Senyawe village. Sebele amassed 174 votes against Guma’s 160.
However, residents of Mabudzane village which forms part of Tsamaya ward voted in large numbers for Guma giving him his first-ever win in his home village. In Themashanga village Guma recorded a lead of 200 votes against his contender - a decisive stroke that dashed Sebele’s hopes of reaching the 2019 general election.
But in Butale, Senyawe, Ditladi and Tati Siding West, Guma trailed behind Sebele. Following Guma’s victory, disappointed voters who had expected him to lose, vowed to get him during the next general election where he will be pitted against a candidate from the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC).
What is good for the goose must certainly be good for the gander but it will seem this does not apply in the case of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association’s (CPA) elections. There was hue and cry last week Tuesday when it emerged that the rules of the elections were being blatantly flouted by the same legislators who should be their custodians.
In this gathering, the level of debate was poor. Some delegates from lower structures such as provincial parliaments which are equivalent to councils in Botswana, appeared lost and their conduct was un-parliamentary .The situation became clear during debates that the outcome of key vacant executive positions were long determined and all that was needed was a formality to justify the elections.
The key positions which were up for grabs were for the Chairperson of the Society of Clerks- at the Table (SOCATT) Africa Region and those of Chairman of the CPA Africa and Treasurer.
Delegates proposed for an amendment on the 19th August proposing to amend Article 46. The General meeting adopted the proposed amendment and inserted a new sub- article which provides a rotation of branch representation within sub regions. The AGM resolved that the amendments should be implemented with immediate effect.
But the executive committee met the next day and reflected on the decision of the AGM, observing that notices of the vacancies were issued in accordance with Article 47 of the constitution before the amendments were adopted. They claimed that the enforcements were made on August 19 to affect the elections slated for 21 August when the process regarding the elections was started over 60 days ago would mean allowing the amendments to operate retrospectively from the date of the declaration of the vacancies.
They further argued that no modalities exist to implement the new decision of rotation system. Based on that, the executive committee overruled the AGM. But, still the three executives refused to budge claiming that they had received legal advice from someone that they never mentioned. They further appeared to have connived with some members to support them during debate.
Those who were against argued that the 60-day notice was meant to notify the members that there were existing vacancies and it does not mean interested parties should submit their names then.
Ironically, the executives applied double standards as they took the decision knowing that during the elections for the chairpersonship of SOCATT they had agreed that the 60-day notice would not apply. At that time Botswana was the only country which had complied through the clerk of the national Assembly, Barbra Ditlhapo who had submitted her name for the position of chairperson.
Instead the executive agreed that a name of Zambian clerk of the national assembly, Cecilia Mbewe be submitted and she later relegated Ditlhapo to become the Central Africa representative. But when it was time for the CPA elections the executive committee insisted that the status qou should remain leading to the Speaker of Kenya Justin Muturi taking over as the chairperson and Vice Treasurer being handed to a Ugandan MP, Elija Okupo.
There was intimidation even from South Africa. A member of the provincial parliament told MP for Francistown South, Wynter Mmolotsi that he is out of order when he tried to set the record straight.Speaking to Botswana Guardian Mmolotsi said it has become apparent that there is one or two countries that are dominating the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association committees and sub- committees.
“The delegates decided at the AGM that these positions should be rotated for, countries must rotate in these positions so that they should not be any one or two countries domineering. “We came up with a resolution as the AGM that we should start rotating with immediate effect.
Now the Regional Executive Committee because they do not want that rotation to take effect immediately, then decided to go and hold a meeting at which meeting they said the constitution talks about 60-days notice of vacancies just purely to notice that there are vacancies available,” he said. According to him Article 47 of the constitution states that: a notice should be sent 60 days before the general annual meeting.
That notice was set, but they want to misinterpret it to say even nominations should be received in 60 days, but that is not in the constitution.
“What happened was that because they had already determined who is going to become the chairperson and other portfolios, they then decided that against the decision of the AGM that now the 60 days notice will apply and if your name was not nominated then you would not take part in those elections”. Meanwhile, at SOCATT at the time of 60 days only, Barbra Ditlhapo’s name appeared but “when they got here, they connived to take her out and replaced her with the name of the Zambian clerk, which is why we are saying at SOCATT they used different rules and this side they used different, whilst the bodies are the same as it is CPA roles, but because it was not favouring them they decided to say the 60-day does not apply”. This is the second time that countries turned against Botswana.
Many of them supported the candidacy of Dr Phenyo Butale for the presidency of the Pan African Parliament, but at the last moment , South Africa allegedly led the de-campaign of Butale in support of Zimbabwe.
Botswana government is actively courting Chinese billionaire Jack Ma to invest in the country, although it is not clear yet in which sectors the Alibaba founder is wooed for.
Ma owns Alibaba, a diversified group which has interest in internet, retail, e-commerce, technology among others. Early this month(August), government representatives, mostly those from the investment, trade and industry ministry used the opportunity of Ma’s visit to South Africa for closed door discussions possibility of investing in the mining rich country. The Chinese mogul was in South Africa to among others launch his Foundation that targets start-ups in that country.
Investment, Trade and Industry minister, Bogolo Kenewendo told a local radio station that, they are expecting more discussions with the tech guru in the coming days. Ma himself is reported to be interested in investing in Africa, having previously visited Rwanda and Kenya, two of East African power houses. Meanwhile, President Mokgweetsi Masisi is expected to meet Ma in China later in the week.
Masisi, Botswana's 5th President is visiting China to also attend the China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) which takes place in Beijing. According to Botswana Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Daphne Mlotshwa, Masisi’s visit to China will be in two parts.“From the 31st August to the 2nd September 2018, His Excellency the President will be on a state visit.
During the state visit, His Excellency the President will hold bilateral talks with his counterpart, wherein they will deliberate on various issues of mutual interest, with a view to enhance bilateral cooperation between the two countries,” Mlotshwa said.Masisi is scheduled to officiate at the Botswana-China Business Forum on 31 August, which will be co-hosted by the Botswana Investment and Trade Centre (BITC) and the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade. China remains an important trading partner to the mining-rich Botswana.
Last month, Masisi disclosed that they are getting P10 billion in credit line from China for infrastructure development. The money will be used to construct Francistown- Nata Road and Kazungula Bridge among other infrastructural developments.
“Even the Martins Drift Road would be revamped because we will have trucks using that border to travel to other countries. So we have to ensure that the road is in good state. We want to improve the lives of Batswana.
This government is for Batswana and has to serve Batswana,”Masisi stated.In 2017, Botswana exported goods worth $33 million, predominantly diamonds,to China while during the same period China exported to Botswana $233 million worth of goods.