Botswana Football Association (BFA) president Tebogo Sebego this week vehemently defended his controversial appointments of members of his administration to secretariat positions within the association.
In a controversial move that left question marks on his ethics, the BFA president recently appointed his election campaign manager Tariq Babitseng to act on the position Chief Executive Officer (CEO).
Soon after, he looked to another member of his victorious elections’ team, Enerst Nthobelang, and appointed him to the position of Chief Operations Officer (COO). Babitseng is also serving as the First Division South Chairperson while Nthobelang is the BFA Vice President Technical.
Quick to defend his actions after a barrage of questions from the media, Sebego went into full spin-doctor mode and clutched at every single straw to justify giving the association’s plum positions to members of his elected committee otherwise dubbed ‘Friends of Football.’
Observers have viewed the controversial appointments as his way of rewarding members of his inner circle, something he was quick to rubbish. Sebego said there were only two people within the BFA secretariat that he could consider for acting in the two positions.
“There is Sethibe (Sonnyboy) BFA Technical Director, who is overworked in his portfolio as there is shortage of manpower,” he said. He added that the second person they could consider for one of the two positions was Susan Monametsi who like Sethibe, has acted as BFA CEO before.
But Sebego hung on to the fact that Monametsi was faced with allegations of maladministration at the BFA and investigations on the matter are ongoing. ”There was no time to acclimatise; we needed to deliver on our mandate, and that is how the appointments came about,” he said. According to Sebego, both Babitseng and Nthobelang already had better income source that their current BFA positions are giving them. “We looked at availability and capability, these positions are not permanent but temporary and it is our aim to have a CEO in place by the end of the year,” he said.
Meanwhile, the BFA has this week issued an advertisement for the position of CEO. The advertisement requires an individual with 16-year work experience in a business environment and emphasised transforming the BFA into a vibrant and profitable enterprise. Furthermore, Sebego told the press conference that ‘ a fresh sponsorship proposal has been approved by Debswana mining company board for the First Division League.
On another matter, Sebego embraced the growth of the constituency league, President Ian Khama’s pet project, saying there was a need to find a symbiotic relationship between government and football. He called for the packaging of football in a manner that could encourage the constituency league to join forces with the mainstream.